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2002 Award
The Class Artist
(by G. Brian Karas, Greenwillow $15.95 Score:) Deciding how to get started on a big assignment is no small thing for creative thinkers. In this case, Fred gets a big idea for a tipi he wants to make, but his dream is over-the-top impossible to accomplish.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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Baloney
(by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, Viking $15.99 Score:) It seems that being late to school is a problem even on another planet and excuses have a familiar ring-no matter what language they're told in!

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
The Magic School Bus Gets Planted
(Kid Vision, Kid Vision $12.95 Score:) Newest in the adventures of Ms. Frizzle and her class, Phoebe gets transformed into a giant vine and needs to learn what she needs to grow. Still top rated: Magic School Bus Greatest Adventures ($12.95 *****). A compilation of best videos that includes Busasaurus, a journey back into the time of dinosaurs (Platinum Award '98);...Gets Lost in Space and ...In A Pickle. The series features the wacky Ms. Frizzle (voice of Lily Tomlin) and her class. Many recent entries have been more cartoonish than educational. Recommended prior winners: ...Getting Energized, a look at different types of energy: ...Gets Ants in its Pants, a trip into the social world of ants; and The Magic School Bus for Lunch, a journey through the digestive system. Paltinum Award '96.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Blabber Mouse
(by True Kelley, Penguin $14.99 Score:) Learning not to tell secrets is harder for some than others. Blabber Mouse's friends come up with a clever solution that might help other blabbermouths, too.

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

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2002 Award
The Grapes of Math
(by Greg Tang/illus. by Harry Briggs, Scholastic $16.95 Score:) These mind-stretching math riddles are probably a read-it-once kind of book, but great fun. It may also change the way kids look at puzzles and encourage some creative problem solving.

Age: . Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Look Out, Jack! The Giant is Back!
(by Tom Birdseye/illus. by Will Hillenbrand, Holiday House $16.95 Score:) You know Jack's giant was dead, right? Well, not quite. His brother has come to settle up with Jack and it's not a pretty sight. But Jack, a clever boy, has a plan!

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Shakespeare's Storybook
(by Patrick Ryan/illus. by James Mayhew, Barefoot Books $19.99 Score:) Did you know that many of Shakespeare's stories were not new? Ryan, a master storyteller, introduces the original folk or fairytales that inspired Romeo and Juliet, Taming of the Shrew, and five other masterpieces. A book to share long before they are ready for the words of the Bard!

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Building Big
(WGBH, WGBH $69.95 Score:) David McCaulay, author of the award-winning The Way Things Work, takes viewers on an exploration of Bridges, Domes, Skyscrapers, Dams, and Tunnels in each of five videos, each followed with activity ideas for building related structures with straws, newspaper, and tape. These are uneven; for example, the Bridges video is more compelling than Dams--but these held the interest of older viewers. (800) 949-8670.

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

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2002 Award
Morgan Plays Soccer
(by Anne Rockwell/illus. by Paul Meisel, HarperCollins $15 Score:) A terrific book for reluctant athletes! Morgan's not sure he can play, but is convinced and ultimately coached by his friend Nina in how to play soccer. We love the fact that the girl is the leader and the message is that it takes practice to become competent.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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The Big Auto Plant
(Little Mammoth Media, Little Mammoth Media $14.95 Score:) Clear, but not very compelling, footage of how a car (a Mercedes M-Class) is built. Of limited special interest. Also, The Big Boom! (***.5) Explore an active volcano, follow a demolition team as it implodes a 22-story building, and watch supersonic jets flying faster than the speed of sound. Some of the offered factoids about sound vibrations are a stretch for young viewers. 6 & up. Favorite in this series, The Big Space Shuttle (*****), with splendid footage of the shuttle, astronauts in training, and space camp. 5 & up. Platinum Award '99. (800) 543-8433.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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