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2002 Award
You Cant Judge a Book by Its Cover Cool Rules for School
(by Judge Judy Sheindlin/illus. by Bob Tore, HarperCollins $14.95 Score:) Using well-known sayings that you probably heard as you were growing up, Judge Judy has constructed hypothetical situations with multiple-choice solutions. Like her first book, this is a good book for sharing with kids and oiling the wheels for talking through some touchy but typical dilemmas kids face. 712.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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Award
Stop, Drop and Roll
(by Margery Cuyer/illus. by Arthur Howard, Simon & Schuster $16 Score:) In a sequel to 100th Day Worries, our worrier Jessica is overwhelmed with fears about all the serious stuff that she needs to remember about fire prevention. Amusing and informative! 58.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: .

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2002 Award
The Frog Principal
(by Stephanie Calmenson/illus. by Denise Brunkus, Scholastic $16 Score:) The beloved principal has an unfortunate encounter with a clumsy, not-too-talented magician who turns him into a frog. A "riv-vit-ing" and amusing story! 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
A Fine, Fine School
(by Sharon Creech/illus. by Harry Bliss, HarperCollins $16 Score:) Our readers were tickled by this tale of a school principal who thought his students, teachers, and school were so fine, that they should come on weekends, holidays, and even during the summer! He finally realizes that too much of a good thing is not so great. 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2001 Award
Brand New Kid
(by Katie Couric/ illus. by Marjorie Priceman, Doubleday $15.95 Score:) Kids who are starting in a new school, as well as kids who are returning will relate to this little story of being an outsider. In lilting verse, Couric spins a little lesson that speaks to being kind and accepting and having the courage sometimes to stand up for someone who is being excluded. 5& up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2001.

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1999 Award
Cool Cash Bingo
(Learning Resources $17.95 Score:) A fast- paced pair of games can be played with this Bingo like game that helps kids learn to add, subtract, and make small change with coins. 6 & up. Also, Presto-Chang-O Game($24.95) This board game deals with coins as well as dollars. This company also makes toy money as well as coin stampers that kids can use for making their own play money. This makes a hit with first and second graders.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 1999.

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2005 Awards
Woodkins
(Pamela Drake $11.95 Score:) These wooden "paper" dolls come with fabric choices that stay in place with a "frame" that lifts and closes over the edge of the doll. New for this year, a charming collection of fairies to dress in gossamer and glittery fabrics plus a necklace for the "designer." Perfect for quiet pretend time. 4 & up. (800) 966-3762. SNAP INFO: This is a non-messy abra-ca-dabra toy that holds the interest of children who may not be able to manipulate and dress a three dimensional doll. Fabric scraps of your own can be added to the mix and the cast of multi-ethnic characters include boys, girls, well loved storybook friends such as Arthur and Madeline. There are also changeable faces with differing emotions to talk about and manipulate. ACTIVITY: Try taking turns telling a story about the character. Players can change the Woodkins clothes and pick up the story thread as they pass it back and forth. Encouraging kids to tell original stories sometimes works best when you model how it's done. Keep it simple and funny if you want to keep their attention.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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Whoozit Activity Spiral
(Manhattan Toy $ Score:) This spiral toy wraps around a crib rail or stroller bar and has dangly toys to explore. The problem is that older babies may take this off the rail since there's no way to Velcro or strap it in place. Our concern is that once it's off the rail this is a toy that an older baby may wrap around his neck. It's fine for newborns gazing or batting at but not for babies who can pull on it or explore it with two hands!

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2002.

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Pull Up Ball Blast
(Fisher-Price $19.99 Score:) Designed for tots to pull up and stand at, this ball drop with a spiral chute looked promising. Trouble is, it's not weighted, so it doesn't hold still for tots who are still unsteady on their feet and the ramps don't connect smoothly for the ball run. Finally, like too many toys this season, the sound and lights are intrusive and loud. This is no substitute for the Tomy Ball Party toys. Marked 9 months to 3 years, we think it's too old for infants, too unsteady for young toddlers and not interesting enough for older toddlers.

Age: Infants,Toddlers. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Red Tricycle
(Radio Flyer $54 Score:) You probably had one of these! A classic little red metal trike with rubber tires with treads and a jingle bell. Available in 10" or 12". This year's "Retro" (***) trike has a seat that's higher over the front wheel. That makes it easier to pedal but more tippable, too. We suggest this only for bigger and older preschoolers. (800) 621-7613.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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