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2003 Award
Gloria Rising
(by Ann Cameron/illus. by Lis Toft, Farrar Straus $15 Score:) Thanks to an onion, Gloria meets Dr. Grace Street, an astronaut, in the supermarket. But when she tells her class about, it no one believes her! Another gem from the creator of The Stories Julian and Huey Tell.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Iris and Walter, The Sleepover
(by Elissa Haden Guest/illus. by Christine Davenier, Harcourt $14 Score:) Anyone who has ever been homesick and had trouble getting through a sleepover will appreciate Iris' predicament. A familiar scenario, which ends with Iris going home in the middle of the night.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Mr. Putter and Tabby Catch the Cold
(by Cynthia Rylant/illus. by Arthur Howard, Harcourt $14 Score:)

Mr. Putter catches cold and is feeling especially sad without the soup and tea and books his Mom used to give him. Enter his good friend Mrs. Teaberry and her wonderful rescue dog, Zeke! The characters in this series get more endearing and amusing every year!

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2003. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2003 Award
Action Jackson
(by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan/illus. by Rober, Millbrook $16.95 Score:) Not so much a biography, as an invitation to view the process of Jackson Pollack painting in his own unique way. Parker's art blends perfectly with the lyrical text! 610. atistScript=

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

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2003 Award
Slowly, Slowly, Slowly, said the Sloth
(by Eric Carle, Philomel $16.99 Score:) An introduction about the habits and habitat of the sloth by Jane Goodall tells a good deal about this threatened creature. Carle's marvelous collages come alive with a menagerie of animals that share the Sloth's South American jungle home. 48.

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

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2003 Award
Chess Yankees vs. Mets
(USAopoly $34.95 Score:) Last year our testers raved about this company's major league versions of Monopoly (featuring Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, or Dodgers). New for are various chess sets, which feature the managers as the kings, and pitchers as the queens-you get the idea. These are for kids who are already well versed in the game. Also new and good fun for Charlie Brown and Lucy fans , Peanuts Monopoly. 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
3D Labyrinth
(Ravensburger $20.99 Score:) Here's a 3-D maze game that's fast and lots of fun to play, and that develops important visual discrimination skills. The maze-like board has a center portion that slides back and forth. Depending on the card you draw, you need to move the sliding portion of the board to capture one of the treasures printed on the board. Our testers preferred this to Magic Hill, a 3-D-styled chutes-and-ladders game where they found the directions unclear. 4-8. The company has submitted our safety verification form. Note, we did not test this independently in a lab.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Search & Rescue GI Joe
(Hasbro $24.99 Score:) A departure from GI Joe's regular tour of duty, here he is a hero in the community. Comes in firefighter's uniform, with thermal imaging camera, air tank, and other rescue gear. This is a multicultural collection. 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2009 Awards
Les Cheries
(Corolle $45 Score:)

We loved these dolls when they first hit the market back in 2003. They received a Platinum Award and we are now giving them a Blue Chip Award for 2009. Chloe, Camille, Clare, Cecile and Cathy are a multicultural collection of 13" dolls and are marketed as "best friend" dolls and are purposefully not fashion dolls. Our favorites this year are Cecile, an African American girl, with jeans, a knit shrug and glorious hair or Chloe, a brunette ballerina in a gossamer tutu. They are meant to look like girls of today. There are new clothes almost every year--but this is a collection that should not be missed.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2003 Award
American Girl Kaya
(American Girl $84 Score:) Pleasant Company continues to make exquisite multiethnic dolls from different periods in American history with books for each doll-a wonderful way to introduce history to kids. New for 2003, Kaya, the first Native American doll from the Nez Perce people in the collection. 7 & up.

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

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