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2002 Award
Snow Day
(y Patricia Lakin/ illus. by Scott Nash, Dial $15.99 Score:) What do Sam, Pam, Will & Jill want to do? Go sledding, of course! This is not written as an easy reader, but it will be enjoyed by those who are beginners and also happen to love snow days! Grade 1-2.

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

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2003 Awards
Marble Train
(Kidstation $44 Score:) Testers couldn't keep their fingers off this old-fashioned looking wooden 24" x 11" maze that is loaded with giant marbles that roll, but can't come out. The object is to move them through the gates, curves, and swirls. This calls for individuating the pointer finger from others. Toddlers will return to this one again and again. SNAP Activity: This is safe enough even for tots who are still mouthing their toys. Yet the opportunity to make something happen while using individual fingers was very satisfying. You may want to sing a little tune as you introduce this game. Try "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" or any other tune that suits your fancy. Instead of "Row Row, Row Your Boat" - how about push, push push the marble push it round and round......:

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Hello Benny!
(by Robie H. Harris/illus. by Michael Emberley, Simon & Schuster $16.95 Score:) The lively illustrations and narrative tell the story of how it feels to be a baby. Each big idea is further explained with scientific explanations that are easy to understand. For example, Benny is shown smiling at himself in a mirror and enjoying playing peek-a-boo with grandma. But stranger anxiety is explained in 50-cent words instead of the $5 variety. 48.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Mammoth
(by Patrick O'Brien, Holt $16.95 Score:) What happened to the ancient relatives of the elephant? Who were their enemies? When did they vanish from the face of the earth? An informative introduction to creatures that lived in the time of cavemen. 7 & up.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Dinosaurs Big and Small
(by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld/illus. by Lucia Washb, HarperCollins $15.95 Score:) A smart new addition to the excellent Let's Read and Find Out series. Comparing the size of dinosaurs to things that children know in the real world adds to the wonder of their size and variety. Told in child-friendly language, this is a book that will not overwhelm a young listener or reader. 47.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Face to Face with the Ladybug
(by Valerie Tracqui/photos by Patrick Lorne, Charlesbridge $9.95 Score:) Close-up photos of ladybugs at each stage in their development make this splendid to look at. Written for young readers, this nevertheless is packed with solid information about a bug most kids can see in the real world. 58.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Big Cats
(by Sarah Walker, DK $9.95 Score:) One of a new series called Eye Wonder books. And they are a wonder for the eyes. Full of facts and magnificent photos this is a good place to begin to study about wild cats. Also in the series: Birds, Reptiles, and Bugs. 59.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Backyard Detective, Critters Up Close
(by Nic Bishop, Scholastic $16.95 Score:) Beautiful to look at, Bishop's photographs give you a close-up look at more than 125 critters in their mini-worlds. Pages of facts and projects alternate with stunning double-page spreads of critters in their habitats. This has a search-and-find discovery quality to it with some details enlarged with magnifying lenses. 610.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
The Recess Queen
(by Alexis O'Neill/illus. by Laura Huliska-Beith, Scholastic $15.95 Score:) Mean Jean was the boss of recess. No one would dare to contradict her, until a new girl arrives on the scene. A bit mean spirited, but that's what bullies are like, right? This may just be helpful for kids who are caught in this kind of all-too-typical situation. 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
The Sunday Blues
(The Sunday Blues, Candlewick $15.99 Score:) You don't have to hate school to hate Sunday night and the end of the weekend. With humor and affection Layton paints an ideal Sunday spent with family while Monday looms on the horizon. These are feelings most of us have known along with the rediscovery each Monday that other pleasures await (usually).

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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