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2003 Award
When Marian Sang
(by Pam Munoz/illus. by Brian Selznick, Scholastic $16.95 Score:)

Marian Anderson's story is almost always told in terms of her historic concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1939, after being refused the right to sing in Constitution Hall. Anderson's talent and determination made her a role model for those who would follow in the civil rights movement years later. Like Anderson's singing, every word of the text has been crafted with care and the illustrations are the music that makes this what the best picture books are—a perfect blend of words and art! 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2003. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2003 Award
A Voice of Her Own
(by Kathryn Lasky/illus. by Paul Lee, Candlewick $16.99 Score:) Here is the amazing story of America's first African-American poet, Phillis Wheatley. Sold as a slave in Boston in 1761, this is the little-known, true story of a young woman with a passion for learning and language that turned her into a young woman with a "voice of her own." 812.

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

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2003 Award
So You Want to Be An Inventor?
(by Judith St George/illus. by David Small, Philomel $16.99 Score:) Like their award-winning So You Want to Be President, this lively collection introduces readers to inventors throughout history. Colorful anecdotes are amusing and the illustrations add much to the light-hearted yet informative approach to those who changed the world with their inventions. 710.

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

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2003 Award
Fireboat
(by Maira Kalman, Putnam $16.99 Score:) In 1995 when the John J. Henry fireboat retired it was lovingly restored by a group of friends. But everyone believed that its fire-fighting days were over. Then, on that day when "the world shook," a call came that the fire hydrants were broken and the fireboat was needed. A splendid story that captures the sorrow and pride of those who were on the front lines on 9/11, ahorrific day in history. 69.

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

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2003 Award
The Emperor's Silent Army
(by Jane O'Connor, Viking $17.99 Score:) A handsome introductory book about the remarkable army of terra-cotta warriors found by two farmers in X'ian in 1974. Since that time the pits have become a must-see tourist site and the archeological dig continues. This story not only deals with the discovery, but gives young readers a small history of the emperor who is still buried in that tomb. 812.

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

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2003 Award
Earth From Above
(by Yann Arthus-Bertrand/Robert Burleigh, Abrams Books $12.95 Score:)

One of the most visually exquisite books we've seen in the last ten years. There is not one cliché in this superb collection of photos taken from sky to earth! Short but informative sidebars add to the viewer's understanding of people, places, and things seen through the camera's eye. This sounds like a "space" book, but it is very much a down to earth look at our planet and its inhabitants as seen from above. Stunning! 7 & up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2003. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2003 Award
Auschwitz
(by Clive A. Lawton, Candlewick $17.99 Score:) How do you begin to tell children of today about the horrific place called Auschwitz? Using first-person narratives, photos, and straightforward reporting, this moving book is one to share with older children. It is one way to help them understand why the resolve of "never again" must be passed from one generation to the next among people of all faiths. 10 & up.

Age: . Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
My First Briefcase
(Gund $15 Score:) Just like Mommy and/or Daddy, toddlers now have a fabric briefcase-in navy. Tot-sized case has three essentials for young executive on the move: a cell phone with quiet sounds, a squeaking calculator, and a key. All props done in fabric and ideal for early pretend. Also cute, My First Lunchbox ($15 ), same idea with apple, Dagwood sandwich that layers with Velcro, and a crunchy cookie. 18 mos. & up.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Musical Hands Mat
(International Playthings $29.99 Score:) Following the flashing lights above each handprint on the 45" mat allows children to play a tune. This calls for visual attention and sequencing. Marked for 2s, but this will be hard for most toddlers under 2. A much better choice for preschoolers and beyond!

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

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Life Style Kitchen
(Step 2 $180 Score:) New for 2003, Life Style Kitchen ($180). For the toddler who needs the dream kitchen (in plastic, of course), this one comes with wainscoting, crown molding, simulated granite, and gooseneck faucet, and takes 12 AA batteries (that's a lot of lifestyle!). This was not ready for testing.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: .

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