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Product Type: Books
Award: Gold
Age: Early Elementary School Years
Review Year: 2013

 


2013 Award
Open Very Carefully
(by Nick Bromley/ illus. by Nicola O’Byrne , Candlewick $15.99 Score:)

Oh, oh, there is a big green gator in this book that was not supposed to be in here! But don't be frightened. It is not really looking for you! In fact it is looking for the way out. Told in big bold strokes, Open Very Carefully provides a good opening for further adventures that kids may like to spin. They say 3-5, we'd say more like 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Tallulah's Toe Shoes
(by Marilyn Singer/ illus Alexandra Boiger, Clarion $16.99 Score:)

Tallulah, like so many other little ballerinas is longing to toe shoes, the kind that real ballerinas wear when they dance on pointe. Not content to wait, as everyone tries to tell her she must, she takes home a pair of discarded slippers and makes some sad discoveries. Unlike so many ballet stories, this one ends on a hopeful note with a nod to the bigger idea that some things you have to wait for and can't happen instantly.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013.

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2013 Award
Footwork, The Story of Fred and Adele Astaire
(by Roxane Orgill/ illus. by Stephane Jorisch, Candlewick $4.99 Score:)

Turner classic fans who watch old Fred Astaire films will enjoy reading about the famous dancer's early days when he was part of a brother sister act that danced its way to fame. Stylish illustrations and a lively telling make this a god choice for kids who like non-fiction, show-biz and dancing. The text is done in a tight font so this is not for beginners, though it looks like one.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat, Ella Fitzgerald
(by Roxane Orgill/ illus. Sean Qualls, Candlewick $14.99 Score:)

This girlhood story about Ella Fitzgerald was originally published as a stand alone title. It has now been reissued in a hard or paper cover version in new series of biographies. These are not easy to read, the text is printed in a small font, but it may be just right for young chapter book readers who are interested in non-fiction or jazz. One has to hope that Ella is as timeless the publication of this book would suggest. It's a lively story of an original and talented orphan who didn't give up even during the tough days of the great depression.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Sam and the Big Kids
(by Emily Arnold McCully, Holiday $14.95 Score:)

With some guilt for the way we treated my best friend's little sister, I have confess this story about two "big kids" who try to ignore a little brother rings, oh, so true! Big sisters do have a way of wanting time alone with friends, a fact that little brothers and sisters don't seem too understand. With good humor and some predictability, the stand-off ends with little brother saving the two big kids with some help from Mom, of course. This is the best story in the new collection of easy, I Like to Read titles.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Fish for Jimmy
(by Katie Yamasaki, Holiday House $16.95 Score:)

The story of the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II is rarely told in picture book format. This moving tale of a boy who misses his father, his home and the foods his mother used to cook, not only captures the history of the time, it fits the age group it is meant to reach. In truth, fishing was a popular pastime in most of the camps, without the need to cut the fence. Indeed, Taro's doing that might have cost him his life. But it provides the drama needed for storytelling, so we will let it pass. The illustrations have a folk art primitive look and the book tells the tale that needs to be shared, so that it never happens again.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Curious George Saves His Pennies
(by Monica Perez/ illus. by Mary O’Keef Young, Houghton Mifflin $12.99 Score:)

Based on the characters of the original Curious George books by Margaret and H.A. Rey, this little story starts out in a toy store where George is supposed to be shopping for a gift for a friend but falls in love with a wooden train. His big friend, the man in the yellow hat suggests that George can save his pennies for it. Of course, he manages to do so in record time but then looses his piggy bank. All's well that ends well and this is no exception. Like many of the original Curious George books this has some big messages that come through without being preachy-well maybe a little. There's also a pullout cardboard bank for saving pennies in, although pennies may be out-moded since they cost more than a penny apiece to mint. 4-7

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
One Gorilla
(by Anthony Browne, Candlewick $16.00 Score:)

Stunning paintings of primates to count. Gorillas, orangutans, chimps and more, with faces that will amaze. As always, Anthony Browne opens our own eyes with close-up views that we might otherwise never see.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Lucky Ducklings
(by Eva Moore/ illus. by Nancy Carpenter, Orchard $16.95 Score:)

Based on a true rescue story that happened far from the Boston Commons, Lucky Ducklings resonates (in a good way) with the classic story of Make Way for Ducklings. Nancy Carpenter's ducklings and proud Mama Duck have their own distinctive and lovable look. When Mama leads her babies across the road they fall into a storm drain and are rescued by the joint efforts of many caring people. It's the image of the policeman holding up traffic to let the ducks cross that pays homage to Robert McCloskey. Read both books and compare what is the same and different. Do a bit of comparative lit for beginners.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
The Black Rabbit
(by Philippa Leathers, Candlewick $14 Score:)

Little rabbit cannot seem to get free of a big black rabbit that follows his every move. As he tries to escape, the suspense grows and rabbit ends up in the deep dark woods where at last he appears to have escaped. But wait! What are those two big eyes that glow in the darkness? With a clever twist, little rabbit is saved. A delightful mix of page-turning humor, mystery, and Science, too.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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