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Product Type: Books
Age: Late Elementary School Years

 


2012 Award
I've Lost My Hippopotamus
(by Jack Prelutsky/ illus. by Jackie Urbanovic, Greenwillow $18.99 Score:)

The poet laureate of kids has done it again. His newest collection of rhymes is bound to please even those who insist they don't like poetry. Most of these poems are about animals; but not sentimentalized or scientific in nature. And then there's the Fabulous Skating Potato, Stokingbirds strutting, and Halibutterflies, among other creations. It's full of the usual Prelutsky humor and silly illustrations that add to the entertainment. Our 8-year old tester and his mom took turns reading these to each other and shared the fun. 5-10.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Plunked
(by Michael Northrop, Scholastic $16.99 Score:)

If you have a sixth grader--perhaps a reluctant reader who happens to love baseball — Jack Mogens' story will score high! Jack manages to make the team but in the first game he is hit by a stray pitch. After that Jack’s fear of getting hit again turns his love of the game into fear. 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Awards
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
(by Brian Selznick, Scholastic $14.99 Score:)

Set in a Paris Train station in the 1930's, this is an award-winning fantasy about a boy who is orphaned and then abandoned by an uncle who leaves the boy to repair the clocks in the railway station. The boy manages to find food enough to live and spends his time repairing a broken automaton, that his father had found and tried to repair with the help of a girl named Isabelle, who has been raised by Georges Méliès, a creator of early films and special effects, including the automaton that he is trying to repair. As Selznick describes the book, “.. this is not exactly a novel, and it's not quite a picture book, and it's not really a graphic novel, or a flip book, or a movie, but a combination of all these things." Also available as an audio ($19.95)10 & up.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Chanukah Lights
(by Michael J. Rosen/ illus. Robert Sabuda, Candlewick $34.99 Score:)

Truly, one of the most extraordinary pop-up books ever! In fact, pop-up is too ordinary a word to describe the artistry in each spectacular scene Robert Sabuda has designed in his Chanukah Lights. Like his Twelve Days of Christmas, here are eight distinctive locales where the flame of the shamash candle lights up the many places where Jews have lit their menorahs and celebrated the miracle of the lights-from a desert tent, a refugee ship, a tenement building, and other remarkable sites. In each location a menorah is shining through. This is one of those beautiful books that you will want to share, but stay in control of, so that it will not be destroyed. It's a treasure that is sure to bring on ooohs! and aaahs! from all ages. It is certainly more for older children than little ones, those who have begun to learn about the history of the Jews. Properly cared for it can become a traditional keepsake to be shared each night of the Festival of Lights.  All Ages.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Marching With Aunt Susan
(by Claire R. Murphy/ illus. Stacey Schuett, Peachtree Press $16.99 Score:)

Marching with Aunt Susan, is an excellent introduction to the fight for women's rights. It's a story so full of hope and determination, as told through the voice of a young girl, Bessie, who resents not being allowed to do all the active things her brothers do. When Miss Susan B. Anthony comes to town, Bessie discovers the cause with her mother's blessing. Unlike typical happy-ever-after picture books, the story here does not end with a win. The vote that year fails, but the book goes on to give young people a fuller sense of the history of the suffrage movement and how the vote for women came to be. The design of the book is right on the mark and the endpapers with newspaper clippings and photographs are most attractive. Too bad the art in this beautifully written story makes everyone look especially unattractive caricatures. 7-10

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes
(Gary Rubinstein and Mark Pett, Sourcebooks $14.99 Score:)

If you have a budding perfectionist in your house, this is a book to share!  Beatrice Bottomwell NEVER makes mistakes...until she does -  and it happens in a very, very public space. The concept of perfection is address with humor that will touch a chord with many kids (and their parents).  The resolution is, of course, that no one can be perfect--and that a well-rounded life includes some mistakes and an even bigger dose of laughter. We hope that Beatrice is a new storybook character that will take on other childhood issues. 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Never Forgotten
(by Patricia C. McKissack/illus.Leo & Diane Dillon, Schwartz & Wade, Random House $18.99 Score:)

Magnificent art and storytelling are blending in this moving tale of the Taken; those who whose freedom was stolen and sold into slavery. It is the story of Musafa, the son of Dinga, a blacksmith, who takes with him the memory of his father and the skills he taught the boy. This beautiful story speaks to the big idea, that "Loved ones are never forgotten when we continue to tell their stories." Though it is done in a picture book format, this is an epic tale told poetically and illustrated with a power to match. The problem may be that older students who are ready for the story are often reluctant to open a picture book. That would be a serious loss for them.   8 & up.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
The Chronicles Of Harris Burdick, 14 Amazing Authors Tell the Tales
(by Chris Van Allsburg, et al, Candlewick $24.99 Score:)

Ever since the original book with it's mysterious illustrations with strange titles first appeared in 1984, it has set off the imaginations of young and old readers alike. Indeed, teachers and parents have used the pages of that book as a springboard to storytelling. Now, the torch has been passed to fourteen well-known authors. Each has used an illustration and given us their original story to go with the art. Some are funny, some scary, and all written by creative minds such as Jules Feiffer, Kate DiCamillo, Lois Lowry, Jon Sciezka, Walter Dean Myers and more. This does not replace having kids spin their own stories, but this is an interesting collection that may well inspire the young writer in your midst.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Franklin and Winston, A Christmas that Changed the World
(by Douglas Wood/ illus. by Barry Moser, Candlewick $16.99 Score:)

Children of the Greatest Generation are likely to be drawn to this handsome picturebook, wanting to bring their grandchildren a story of two of the most famous leaders of WWII. Barry Moser's watercolor images of that time are full of vitality and capture the relationship that bloomed as the two iconic figures to plan how they would join forces and win the war that would go on for three and a half more years. It begins soon after America was attacked by Japan and Winston Churchill finds a way to cross the war torn Atlantic to reach the man who would be his staunchest ally in the trials ahead. There is not really much story here for typical kids of picturebook age and slightly older kids who may be learning about WWII for the first time will not generally want to do so in a picture book. So it remains, who is this book for anyway? If you are a WWII buff, it will be for you. Why not?

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Awards
The Complete Adventures of the Borrowers
(by Mary Norton, Houghton Mifflin $34.99 Score:)

What could be better that one great book? How about a set of five paperbacks packaged in a box that will take young readers on all the adventures shares by the Borrowers? If you didn't read them when you were growing up, make this set your ticket and read them aloud after dinner -- a chapter a night. From the original book featuring the little Borrowers to their journeys Aloft, Afloat, Afield and Avenged. This is a gift for the family to enjoy on the long winter nights ahead. Marked for 9-12, but younger kids of 7 and 8 will enjoy hearing these stories read aloud and then rereading them later when they can better handle longer chapter books.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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