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2002 Award
Castle and Bucket Set
(International Playthings $12.99 Score:) A castle-shaped bucket doubles as a mold and comes with watering can, three stout digging tools, and sand/water mill. Everything but the sun block for an afternoon at the beach! (800) 445-8347.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Rescue Squad
(Great American Puzzle Factory $6.5 Score:) When you open the box there are over 60 pieces that make up four different vehicles (police car, helicopter, truck, and fire truck). Each puzzle is over a foot long and has clear graphics. Unfortunately, the 60 pieces are not separated out. Our tip is to presort the otherwise terrific puzzles for your child. They say 3 & up, we'd say more like 4 & up with help. (800) 922-1194.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Bob the Builder Kid Sized Puzzle
(Milton Bradley $6.95 Score:) Thirty giant sized pieces with geometric cutout connections to make a 3'-tall picture of Bob in his hard hat and work tools. There are also simpler/smaller well-done puzzles featuring Bob. (800) 752-9755.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Mega Bloks Wagon
(Mega Bloks $30 Score:) A tot-sized red wagon loaded with 50 pieces of oversized plastic pegged blocks is fun for making big, fast constructions. Pegs on side of wagon can be used for building up and over. (800) 465-6342.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Little 3-in-1 Sports Set
(Little Tikes $24.99 Score:) Toddlers often long to shoot hoops and swing at baseballs like their big siblings. Scaled for little players, this satisfies their love of repetition. Basketballs drop into chutes and there are baseball and golf balls to swing at. (800) 321-0183.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Awards
Magical Color Changing Gertie Balls
(Small World Toys $6 Score:) These gummy inflatable balls are soft enough for kids who may be scared of big heavy balls coming toward them. We particularly like the new-for- magical color-changing Gertie. Put in a cold place, it turns pink; toss it and your handprints show up in blue! SNAP ACTIVITY: Start out with a cold ball and count how many catches back and forth it takes to turn the ball to another color. An active counting game.

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

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2002 Awards
Pete Seeger Song and Play Time
(Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, Smithsonian Folkways $15 Score:) Originally issued in 1960, this BLUE CHIP collection is at last on CD with many songs that focus on memory skills-learned in the context of active fun and music. A collection of 16 game songs that includes such favorites as Skip to My Lou, Here We Go Loopy-Loo, I've Been Workin' On the Railroad, and She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain. A great choice for the family as well as group fun. Includes a 12 page booklet with lyrics. 40 mins. 3 & up.(800) 410-9815.

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

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2002 Award
The Great Ships
(by Patrick O'Brien, - Not Selected - $16 Score:) From Viking longboat to the nuclear aircraft carrier, Enterprise, this is a pictorial history of ships. Glorious paintings of famous ships from all over the world are accompanied with short but clear stories about their part in maritime history. Ships of explorers, warriors, and merchants- they are all here. 6-10.

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

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2002 Award
Sailing Home
(by Gloria & Ted Rand, North-South $15.95 Score:) What would it be like to go to school, eat dinner, play tag aboard a four-masted sailing ship? Based on a journal kept by a sea captain and his daughter, who did all that and more from1896-1910, this is a charming picture book for young history buffs in the making. It may also inspire young journal keepers to see their current adventures as something that might give future generations a glimpse of the early 21st Century. Subtitled, A Story of a Childhood at Sea, the Rands have created a seamless blend of adventure, child-centered information and handsome art that brings an unusual true story to life. 6-9.

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

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Award
The Bold Boy
(by Malachy Doyle/ illus. by Jane Ray, Candlewick $15.99 Score:) Beginning readers as well as young listeners will enjoy the sprightly pace and pattern of this folktale. Bold Boy asks an old woman to take care of a pea he has found. When her hen eats the pea he takes the hen. But it doesn't stop there. In a series of comic exchanges Bold Boy keeps trading (make that taking) up until he makes off with a young girl's donkey and other catch up with his naughty ways. Great read aloud fun that children will love chiming in on! 3 & up.

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

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