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2002 Award
Trumpet of the Swan
(Columbia Tristar, Columbia Tristar $19.95 Score:) When Louie the swan is born mute, his disappointed but devoted father risks everything by stealing a trumpet for him. Louie goes out into the world and discovers his talents and then returns to pay for the trumpet, to restore his father's good name, and marry the swan of his dreams. Based on E. B. White's classic, this animated version includes an all-star cast with Jason Alexander, Mary Steenburgen, and Carol Burnett, and music performed by Little Richard.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Maisy: Springtime
(Universal, Universal $12.98 Score:) Maisy stars in five little seasonal stories about an egg hunt, a bird building a nest, a trip to the farm with baby animals and some farm songs. We wish the songs were more tuneful, but we much prefer this to the new Maisy ABC video (**). Maisy, who doesn't yet speak, doesn't need to learn the alphabet! We suggest previous videos such as Play With Maisy (*****) Platinum Award '01, featuring little slice-of-life adventures of Maisy with her friends. These are very slowly paced and just right for young video viewers.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
The Little Bear Movie
(Paramount, Paramount $9.95 Score:) We were worried about the story line in which Little Bear and his new friend, Cub (a wild bear), get lost in the woods. But no fear, the writers maintained a sweetness in these stories. There is a brief encounter with a mountain lion that's a bit scary, but resolves itself quickly (and happily). Little Bear and his friends help to unite Cub and his family, who had been separated during a storm.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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George & Martha
(Sony, Sony $12.95 Score:) We really wanted to love this series based on James Marshall's characters with Nathan Lane and Andrea Martin adding their wonderful voices as George and Martha. Unfortunately, while the animation is right for preschoolers, the stories are for much older kids and they were not too compelled to stick with the stories. In "Best Friends," George has the Scary Cable Channel installed, which may be frightening to some. Most disturbing is that the television turns itself back on. Yikes!

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Fat Chance Thanksgiving
(by Patricia Lakin/illus. by Stacey Schuett, Albert Whitman $15.99 Score:) Carla's mom considers it a "fat chance" that they will celebrate much of a Thanksgiving after they lose their apartment to a fire. But when they move to a new apartment, Carla is both inspired and determined by the story of the Pilgrims to celebrate.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Nursery Crimes
(by Arthur Geisert, Houghton Mifflin $16 Score:) Jambo and Marva and their family of pigs run a small tree nursery where they specialize in turkey topiaries and pumpkins. But one autumn the turkey trees keep vanishing! A small mystery with marvelous seasonal art and a happy ending.

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

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2002 Award
Goodbye Mousie
(by Robie Harris/illus. by Jan Ormerod, Simon & Schuster $15 Score:) When his pet mouse dies, a small boy recounts how angry and said he felt. Both text and illustrations zoom in on the emotions and childlike ways the family say good-bye as they bury an old pet.

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

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2002 Award
The Hickory Chair
(by Lisa Rowe Frastino/illus. by Benny Andrews, Scholastic $15.95 Score:) Louis knows he is Gran's favorite grandchild-she told him so. So when Gran dies, Louis is extremely disappointed that he seems to be the only member of the family to whom she has not left a note and a memento. Years later, when his own grandchild sits in Gran's hickory rocker, she finds a note that has been hidden for ages.

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

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2002 Award
Betty Doll
(by Patriia Polacco, Philomel $16.99 Score:) Be prepared to be reduced to tears by this charming story spun by a master! It begins when the author unpacks her mother's things and finds a letter with a small doll that her mother had made a s a child. Through that Betty doll we see the highs and lows of a lifetime and find a warm message about the endurance of love and remembrance between generations. Memorable!

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

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2002 Award
Farm Flu
(by Teresa Bateman/illus. by Nadine Bernard Westcot, Albert Whitman $15.95 Score:) Mom is away when the flu grips one animal after the next. Lucky for them that her well-trained son knows just how to serve up the tea, tissues, and tummy rubs. Even kids with a touch of flu will giggle at the absurdity of it all-especially the cure for malingerers who never get too much of a good thing.

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

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