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2002 Award
Knights & Battles
(by Richard Tames, Silver Dolphin Books $14.95 Score:) For young readers who are ready to dip into the world of Knights and the Middle Ages, this is an interactive book with little nuggets of information in an interesting format. There are timelines, costume wheels, flaps and acetate pages with building facades that open to reveal the inside of a castle, cathedral, and timbered town houses. Has a useful glossary of terms with clear definitions. This won't replace an encyclopedia for serious school reports, but it makes a good place to start, especially after an early trip to a museum or for budding interests in the age of chivalry. One of the Discovery Plus series designed for 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
This Little Chick
(by John Lawrence, Candlewick $15.99 Score:) A repetitive refrain gives this playful story a pattern that toddler will enjoy. Little Chick goes out to play with the other creatures and has great fun imitating the sounds they say. This is exactly what little listeners will do, too. Bold wood cuts with a zippy action is sure to make this a "read-it-again" favorite.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Baby Duck and the Cozy Blanket
(by Amy Hest/illus. by Jill Barton, Candlewick $10.99 Score:) Most touch and feel books have fuzzy or pull-able pieces that can be worrisome for the toddlers they are designed to engage. This textured book appears to be safe, but because the pages are limited, the progression of the story itself may not be very clear. Baby Duck, like most toddlers does not want to part with her dirty blanket. But Mother Duck convinces her and after getting Baby clean, too, the blanket magically reappears all clean and dry. Too bad, that the main event, the cleaning and drying process happens "off-stage". May be a bit confusing for some toddlers.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
What Planet Are You From, Clarice Bean?
(by Lauren Child , Candlewick $16.99 Score:) Off beat but always thinking, young Clarice falls into a science project on the environment, thanks to her brother. Together the Bean family become eco-warriors, defending a tree. As always, there's an irreverence and fresh feel to both story and illustrations.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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Where Are My Chicks?
(by Sally Grindley/illus. by Jill Newton, Penguin $9.99 Score:) A counting book mystery about a Mother Hen who is looking for her lost chicks. The other animals help her find them one by one. But oddly enough after the first four yellow chicks are found numbers five through eight are much bigger and gray rather than yellow. What a surprise when Mother Goose turns up looking for her goslings. Birds are not always in full view, so the counting is a tad challenging but fun.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
When the Root Children Wake Up
(retold by Audrey Wood/illus. by Ned Bittinger, Scholastic $16.95 Score:) Based on a book written a century ago, here is an imaginative celebration of the seasons. Awakened by Mother Nature, the Root Children go out into the world after their long winter's nap to greet Aunt Spring and brighten the world with their blossoms and bugs. Soon they wake Cousin Summer. Eventually Uncle Fall does his thing and they return to their underground home and Mother Nature who tucks them. Lyrical oil paintings capture an enchanting world.

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

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2002 Awards
Fiddle-I-Fee Boardbook
(by Melissa Sweet, Little Brown $5.95 Score:) A classic cumulative song that introduces animals and their sounds in a song that toddlers will enjoy chiming in on and preschoolers will use to stretch their memory. It's even fun to add more critters to Melissa Sweet's barnyard crowd. Printed in sturdy boardbook format this will be enjoyed by toddlers and preschoolers in the lap or "reading" independently. This is a younger and simpler version )than the Will Hildenbrand version from Harcourt.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Usborne Science Encyclopedia
(by Kirsteen Rogers, et al, Usborne $39.95 Score:) Science minded readers will lve browsing through this hefty one volume encyclopedia with plenty of illustrations to accompany the big ideas presented under sections on energy, plants, animals, earth nd space, the human body, materials, chemistry, light, sound and electricity. Each section includes internet connections that relate to the topics introduced. A great gift for 8's & up.

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

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2002 Award
Fiddle-I-Fee
(by Will Hillenbrand, Harcourt $16 Score:) "I had a cat and my cat pleased me. I fed my cat under yonder tree..." Here's a familiar folksong with a cumulative cast of critters that each make their own unique sounds. This is good sing-along fun that stretches the memory as well as the lyrics as you sing each verse. This version ends with a farmer and his wife who add one more voice to the celebration. For a younger, simpler boardbook version see Melissa Sweet's adaptation from Little Brown.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Arithme-tickle
(by J. Patrick/ illus. Frank Remkiewicz, Harcourt $16 Score:) Kids who are nuts about math will relish the word problems in this playful, but challenging book. For the non-math student this may put a funny spin on word problems, but go easy. Some students will see this as no better than a dreaded workbook.

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

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