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2003 Award
Sunshine Circus
(Reprint Mint $58 Score:) Ladies, gentlemen, and children of all ages! Welcome to the Big Top Striped Tent! Has painted chipboard panels and towers. Will inspire lots of pretend with trapeze and ring. Clowns ($8 each) and other props are sold separately.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Flip Flops
(Mary Meyer $15 Score:) The ultimate in relaxed plush! Under-stuffed at the middle, these animals flop over and are made of extremely soft fabric. Our favorites: Libby Yellow Lab and Lucky Black Lab. If your child is asking for a dog, but you're not ready, these pretend pups may do the trick. For an even larger hug, Supersized Flip Flops ($45 each). Our favorite: Mickey Monkey.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2003.

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Poupette
(Corolle $39 Score:) This collection of six multicultural dolls is right on target for threes and fours. Each has a reversible dress with Velcro fasteners. These would have been Platinum winners, but they're marked 18 mos. & up, and the small hair accessories make them more appropriate for 3 & up. Also new, tubbable bath dolls; select either Les Bébés Bains ($40 each ) (Caucasian or Asian version available) or long-haired 14" La Poupee Bain ($65 each ). 3 & up. Still top rated, Les Minis Calins Blue Chip ($16 & up ), sweet 8" soft-bodied dolls which also come in Asian and African American versions.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: .

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2003 Award
Fancy Prancy Princess Topsy Turvy
(North American Bear Co. $32 Score:)

As princesses go, you won't find any as pretty as these charming old-fashioned flip dolls with a fair-haired princess at one end and a brunette (with a darker skin tone) at the other. Both wear crowns, of course! A very old-fashioned doll that transforms with imagination (not batteries). Equally special, Fancy Prancy Princesses ($14 each ). Pick a 9" princess wearing taffeta gowns with sparkling stardust safely stitched under a layer of netting. Each has a small gold crown and velboa hair.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2003. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2003 Award
Gus and Grandpa and the Halloween Costume
(by Claudia Mills/illus. by Catherine Stock, Farrar Straus $15 Score:) Gus is having trouble finding the right costume. Once more, Grandpa comes to the rescue with one that Gus's dad wore. Yet another gem in a consistently warm and meaningful series.

Age: . Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
The Battle for St. Michaels
(by Emily Arnold McCully, HarperCollins $15.99 Score:) (, HarperCollins $15.99 ) During the War of 1812 a small ship-building town in Maryland is about to be attacked by the Redcoats. Twelve-year old Caroline, the fastest runner in town, is able to carry messages and play an important part in defending her home and our flag.

Age: . Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Meow!
(Allan Ahlberg/illus. by Andre Amstutz, Candlewick $8.99 Score:) Though not a traditional easy-to-read, this little story has plenty of repetition and surprises to keep pages turning. Clara awaits the return of her cat as many other creatures arrive at her lift-the-flap door. Grade 1–3.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
The Horse in Harry's Room
(by Syd Hoff, HarperCollins $3.99 Score:) Remember Danny and the Dinosaur? Here's his pal Harry, who also has an active imagination and a "horse" in his room! Although others seem unable to see him, Harry does not let that stop the fun they have together.

Age: . Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Harry In Trouble
(by Barbara Ann Porte/illus. by Yossi Abolatia, HarperCollins $3.99 Score:) Anyone who has ever lost a library card (that would be most of us) will relate to this funny story. First the dog eats one, then the washing machine ruins one, and finally one is genuinely lost. As always, there are kind adults and friend Dorcas who give young Harry support. Grades 1–3.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Bertie Was a Watchdog
(Rick Walton/illus. by Arthur Robins, Candlewick $11.95 Score:) There's plenty of repetition in this funny adventure story about a small dog that outsmarts a none-too-smart robber. Not designed as an easy reader, it is on the mark for early Grades 1–2.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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