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Babushka
(retold by Sandra Ann Horn/illus. by Sophie Fatus, Barefoot Books $16.95 Score:) Babushka is so busy cleaning that she almost misses the amazing events that are happening when an angel comes to her yard, a star appears in the sky and three wise men come to her door. Unlike the Italian Christmas Witch, Babushka finds her way to Bethlehem, learning much along the way! 4-8.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2002 Awards
Catch That Goat!
(by Polly Alakija, Barefoot Books $16.99 Score:) Ayoka was supposed to take care of the family goat. Oh, oh! That runaway goat has gone to the market! In a romp through a Nigerian market, this is a spirited counting book with details to explore on every page, including a sighting of that runaway goat! Lyrical African names and repetitive pattern makes for a fun read aloud! 2-6.

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

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2002 Awards
My First Baby Signs
(by Linda Acredolo, Ph.D, & Susan Goodwyn, Ph.D./ p, HarperCollins $6.95 Score:) One of several books that show how to teach baby to sign even before she can speak. Using charming photos of babies and familiar objects, the pictures capture the baby signing a word as the text tells you how to sign that word. Also, Baby Signs for Mealtime ($6.95) The authors claim that babies have fewer tantrums and talk sooner when they are empowered to communicate through simple gestures. Makes sense. When do you start? When baby starts to wave good-bye. SNAP: This series may be of interest to parents with children with delayed speech

Age: Infants,Toddlers. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Going Places
(by Todd Parr, Little Brown $4.95 Score:) Most of the vehicles (except for the fire engine) are easy to recognize and name, which is the whole purpose of this kind of book. If the images are too hard to recognize then the knowing and naming possibilities are lost. Bright and colorful, this one makes more sense than the zany faces in the companion, Funny Faces book.

Age: Infants,Toddlers. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Don't Know Much About the Pilgrims
(by Kenneth C. Davis/ illus. by S.D. Schindler, HarperCollins $15.99 Score:) Using a question and answer format, this is the newest in a series of informative yet entertaining books. Shindler's illustrations have humor and give this an appealing non-textbook look.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Muldoon
(by Pamela Duncan Edwards/ illus. by Henry Cole, Hyperion $14.99 Score:) Dog lovers will enjoy this whimsical tale told from a dog's point of view. Muldoon is no ordinary pet, he's a "working" dog who takes pride in waking in the morning, taking his children to school, checking the trash for valuables and cleaning the dinner plates. Children will see the humor of a text that doesn't quite match what the illustrations show. 4-8

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

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2002 Award
Dear Papa
(by Anne Ylvisaker, Candlewick $15.99 Score:) In school Isabelle has to write a letter to someone she has not seen in a long time. So, she writes to her Papa who died a year ago. Sound maudlin? Not at all! This is a moving novel written totally in letters, not just to Papa but family and friends who are very much alive. Isabelle sense of humor keeps her entertaining and endearing! 8-12.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2003 Award
Spirit
(Dreamworks $26.99 Score:) Early reviewers indicated that this was a film no one over six would watch. We'd say this is a beautiful film that no one under six should see. Like an old fashioned western (only more politically correct) this is part one of "How the West was Won". It has the requisite chase through canyons and a fall into rapids with a waterfall drop that the main characters survive. Only here the main characters have manes and the story is told from the point of view of a wild mustang that is captured by the cavelry and rescued by a Native American. This has more than one frightening moment and might lead some young viewers to believe that the Plains are still home to the Lakota People and wild mustangs. Still the images are beautiful and the story has more meaning than all too many so called family films. 6-10.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Where the Wild Things Are
(Scholastic $14.95 Score:) Welcome back! For years Children's Circle videos were the benchmark of excellence in the world of children's videos bringing award winning storybooks classics to the video screen. For the past several years they were only available to libraries. Now part of the collection has been reintroduced at an affordable price for the home market. This represents the best news to the world of children's videos! Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen are delightfully narrated by Peter Schickele and The Nutshell Library is sung by Carole King. How wonderful that Sendak's art comes to life for a new generation! 4-8.

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

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FurReal Friends Kitten
(Hasbro $35 Score:) If you have a child who is allergic to cats but wants one madly, this might do the trick! Our tester loved the way this big white furry angora type cat responded with motion and sounds to the touch. Looks a lot like Snowbell in the Stuart Little movie. With sensors in its cheeks, head, back, shoulder and tail this is the most life-like cat we've ever tested. But it doesn't always do what's expected. It purrs, meows, moves its head and tail. The problem is it also seems to roar with some very un-cat like sounds! Comes with a brush for grooming and an adoption certificate. 6 & up. (800) 752-9755.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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