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2003 Award
Dog Food
(by Saxton Freymann/illus. by Joost Elffers, Scholastic $12.95 Score:) Combines word play and food play in a delicious little book of dogs made out of bananas, pears, peppers, and more. As always, this creative team makes fruits and veggies something kids enjoy!

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

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2003 Award
Dig Dig Digging
(by Margaret Mayo/illus. by Alex Ayliffe, Holt $14.95 Score:) Trucks, tractors, helicopters, fire engines are the stars in this young concept book that bounces along as it explains in lilting verse what kind of work these vehicles do. This is a fun read-aloud with vibrant illustrations full of action. 35.

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

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2003 Award
Carlo Likes Counting
(by Jessica Spanyol, Candlewick $14.99 Score:) Bold paintings with many items on each page with sets of one through ten. This is more than a simple counting book. It enlarges the concept of one-ness, two-ness, and more with multiple things to count and talk about with preschoolers. A worthy sequel to Carlo Likes Reading.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Apollo
(by Caroline Gregoire, Kane Miller $13.95 Score:) What a funny way to learn about some basic math concepts, with an adorable dog who can be viewed by halves, from above, below, front, back, vertically, horizontally, diagonally, and with great affection. This offers an introduction to some very abstract words using images to make them concrete, humorous, and memorable.

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

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2003 Award
Snowmen at Night
(by Caralyn Buehner/illus. by Mark Buehner, Penguin $15.99 Score:) Noting how different her snowman looks in the morning, here is one child's imaginative version of the secret lives of snowmen. Hidden pictures of rabbits, Santas, and T-Rex add another dimension to the fun.

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

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2003 Award
Close Your Eyes
(by Kate Banks/illus. by Georg Hallensleben, Farrar Straus $16 Score:) Getting children to close their eyes and make pictures in their mind's eye might just be easier with this charming bedtime tale about a little tiger who is fighting sleep. 36.

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

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2003 Award
Bear Snores On
(by Karma Wilson/illus. by Jane Chapman, Simon & Schuster $16 Score:) A big brown bear is asleep in his lair when other small animals come in and have a happy time. But what will happen when Bear awakes? The rhythm, rhyme, and repetitive refrain make this great fun for young listeners. There's nothing scary about this big bear who just wants to join in the fun. Perfect for read-aloud pleasure.

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

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2003 Award
Oliver Finds His Way
(by Phyllis Root/illus. by Christopher Denise, Candlewick $14.99 Score:) Oliver, a small bear gets so caught up with chasing a big yellow leaf that he runs too far from home. How will he find his way back? With a little help from his big bear voice and his loving parents. A small adventure preschoolers will relate to given their own mixed emotions about being independent and dependent.

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

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2003 Award
Mama's Little Bears
(by Nancy Tafuri, Scholastic $15.95 Score:) Like so many little ones, Mama's Little Bears are curious about the world they live in. With very little text (allowing for lots of looking and talking by you and your child) the chubby cubs discover many baby creatures with their mothers. They have a rollicking good time until they don't know where to find their Mama. A reassuring book for children who see Mama Bear in the background throughout all the curious cubs' adventures.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
My Big Brother
(by Valorie Fisher, Atheneum $14.95 Score:) With a series of photos and telling one-liners, we get a child's eye view of an ideal big brother. No grabbing, teasing, or rough-housing here. Both big and little sibs will enjoy this one.

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

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