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2002 Award
The Mommy Book
(by Todd Parr, Little Brown $14.95 Score:) Dedicated to the proposition that not all moms are alike, this good natured happy book of mommies celebrates their differences as well as the universal things that all moms have in common. Parr's colorful illustrations and spare text leave room for lots of looking and talking. Companion to The Daddy Book. 2-5.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
The Daddy Book
(by Todd Parr, Little Brown $14.95 Score:) Dedicated to the proposition that not all dads are alike, this good natured happy book of daddies celebrates their differences as well as the universal things that all dads have in common. Parr's colorful illustrations and spare text leave room for lots of looking and talking. 2-5.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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Award
Baby Penguin
(by Aubrey Lang/ photos by Wayne Lynch, Fitzhenry & Whiteside $15.95 Score:) Close-up photos and clear prose give young readers a fascinating tour of the world of the king penguin. Lynch's photos capture the transformation of the one-year-old fuzzy brown chick to the familiar black and white bird about to plunge into the sea and find its own food and way. One of a handsome series called Nature Babies. 5-9.

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

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2002 Award
Fix-it
(by David McPhail, Dutton $6.99 Score:) Here's a board book version of an old favorite. Young Emma gets up early to watch TV, but, guess what? The TV doesn't work and no one is able to fix it! Not Mother Bear, Father Bear or even the Fix-it man. What can Emma do? Surprise, even when Papa bear discovers how to fix the TV, Emma has made a more important discovery about the power of books! This is dressed up in a toddler format, but the story is still more suited for preschoolers. 3-6.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Awards
Lamaze Puppytunes
(Learning Curve International $19.99 Score:) Companion to the original Octotunes( with eight squeezable legs), this colorful velour puppy has only four squeezable legs and is less expensive. We doubt you'll make real music with this, so, four legs might well be as good as eight. With crinkle ears and polka-dotted and checkerboard patterns for eye-appeal, Puppytunes has stitched features and a cheerful face. Little hands will find the legs on the puppy easier to push and make something happen. No batteries are needed, this works on the old fashioned principle of a squeeze toy that is hand powered. It does have a vanilla scent that you will either love or hate. They say birth and up, but we think older babies and toddlers will enjoy it more. 9 months & up.

Age: Infants,Toddlers. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Triceratops Puzzle
(Lauri $7.5 Score:) Newest in the Lauri puzzlein a tray collecton is Triceratops, a 12 piece puzzle that will appeal to the dinosaur lover and calls for problem solving and patience. Like all the Lauri tray puzzles this comes with a pattern that can be used for matching for beginners. Put the pattern away when they are ready to do it without help. Also, new this season, a Unicorn puzzle with pastel pieces. 3-6

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Awards
Lacing & Tracing Tools
(Lauri $6.99 Score:) Newest addition to Lauri's sturdy lacing shapes. These seven chubby primary colored tools ( hammer, saw, wrenches, drilll, screwdriver) come with colorful laces that will keep little hands busy. This kind of play is good for quiet times and travel and will appeal to boys and girls. Lacing helps develop the same fine motor skills needed for writing. 3-7

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2003 Awards
My Keepsake Clock Kit
(Balitono $17 Score:) Our tester couldn't wait to get started painting this keepsake clock kit that comes with a round quartz clock that sits in the 7" x 4" wooden case. Comes with a small drawer beneath the clock for small treasures. Included in the kit: sandpaper, paint, varnish, two paintbrushes and a painting guide and stencil design. Would make a great present for a child to give (they will probably want one of their own too!). Well made and very special. Also recommended, Best Friends Frame Kit and Keepsake Chest. SNAP AWARD: THis is good looking finished product that needs to be painted in any way your young artist desires. So, it's got a finished look and feel with an open-ended agenda. Makes a great gift for child to give to a teacher or grandparent.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2002 Award
Smart Mouth
(ThinkFun $16.99 Score:) If your family enjoys word games, here's a clever new option for one on one or team play. The game comes with a fun blue letter holder that you load up with the plastic orange and green letter chips. Slid the loader forward and two letters appear. The object of the game is to be the person or team to shout out a five letter word that begins with the first letter and ends with the second letter. The game comes with many alternative ways to play that we found useful. For example, if you're playing with younger children (or just want to make it easier for everyone!) play with three or four letter words. We also enjoyed the version of playing famous people with those two initials. The winning team or player has the most chips at the end of the round. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
I Love Skating!
(by Jane Feldman, Random House $3.25 Score:) If you have a child inspired by the figuring skating competition at the Olympics, here's a quick little photo essay about five year old Nastia who is learning how to ice skate. We especially liked the discussion about falling (it happens!) and getting back up again. It shows Nastia getting ready for competition and winning (of course!).

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

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