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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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2002 Award
My Best Friend Moved Away
(by Nancy Carlson, Viking $15.99 Score:) Kids who have recently lost a good friend may find this upbeat book a bit glib. Finding a new best friend is seldom as quickly solved as in the 32-page wonder. Yet the optimistic message here may alleviate the sadness most kids suffer when they are faced with this kind of separation.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Two Homes
(by Claire Masure/illus. by Kady M. Denton, Candlewick $14.99 Score:) Alex has different things as Mommy's and Daddy's. But the one thing that is the same in both places is the love that continues between parents and child. A reassuring book for young listeners. 2 & up. For older preschoolers, A New Room for William (by Sally Grindle/illus. by Carol Thompson, Candlewick $15.99) Moving is tough, but moving because of a divorce is a double whammy!

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Franklin's Reading Adventures
(USA Home Entertainment, USA Home Entertainment $12.95 Score:) There are two solid stories on this video. "Franklin Loses a Book" is a lot like an old-fashioned picture book with Franklin going from one animal to another trying to find a copy of his little sister's favorite storybook. "Reading Club" features Franklin and his friend Bear trying to rush through 30 books in order to win a prize. Still top rated, Franklin's Blanket (****).

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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Barney's Musical Castle
(Lyons Group, Lyons Group $14.95 Score:) If your child has ever been to or dreamed of going to a Barney show, Barney's Musical Castle will be the next best thing. We have to be honest, we had to mute part of it. Seventy minutes is just too much Barney, if you are over (or under) 3! Still recommended, Sing & Dance with Barney. Depending on where you stand, this 56-minute reunion tape featuring 27 Barney hits will be either a preschooler's dream come true or your 9-year-old's worst nightmare. In Barney Goes to the Zoo (**), it takes forever to see any animals and the music at the start of the tape is not up to Barney's usual standards. Sorry, this Zoo video is forgettable. (800) 791-8093

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Winnie the Pooh Sing a Song with Tigger
(Disney, Disney $12.99 Score:) Over the years we have found some of the Sing Along tapes a better alternative for preschoolers than the feature-length films that are too scary for young viewers. However, these are uneven and sometimes include clips that are not for all ages (our tip: rent before you buy). New for 2002, Winnie the Pooh Sing a Song with Tigger (****) is a solid good choice with some new music from the Tigger movie. We do like the way the words to the songs bounce along the bottom of the screen so kids who can read can sing along. Closed-captioned.

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

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Elmo's World Birthdays Games & More
(Sony, Sony $12.95 Score:) Viewers enjoyed the birthday theme--showing kids getting and receiving gifts. It gets better after a frenetic opening and is better than Elmo's Magic Cookbook (**),which falls below the usual high standards set by Sesame Street. In the first segment, Elmo watches kids who dance and then makes the distinction that mailboxes and birthday cakes don't dance but he does--really! The dumbed-down content was more irritating than inspiring. The producers probably didn't intend for kids to watch all 50 minutes of Elmo in one sitting--we had trouble staying with the first 10. We still prefer Elmo's earlier videos.

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

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2002 Award
The Journey
(by Sarah Stewart/illus. by David Small, Farrar Straus $16 Score:) Diary entries follow the adventure of Hannah, an Amish girl who calls herself "the luckiest girl on this good earth." She leaves home and chores behind, and journeys with her mother to Chicago for the first time. Each new sight Hannah enjoys is compared to home and while the city is thrilling, it's Hannah's inner joys in her simpler life that resonate.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Blue's Clues: Playtime with Periwinkle
(Paramount, Paramount $12.95 Score:) Preschoolers love being in the know by finding Blue's clues before Steve, the host, finds them. New for 2002, Playtime with Periwinkle centers on Steve and Blue's new feline friend from the city. Pretty straightforward format. Still top rated, Blue's Safari, which centers on identifying animals and looks at how adult animals care for their babies; Blue's Clues Rhythm and Blue, Platinum Award '00; and Blue's Clues Story Time, Platinum Award '99 *****. Thumbs down for Blue's Big Treasure Hunt, ABC's, and 123's, which take a wrong-headed turn in the road (*). This is not the audience for reading or spelling lessons! Closed-captioned.

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

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2002 Award
Old Mother Hubbard
(by Jane Cabrera, Holiday House $15.95 Score:) Ever wonder what her dog did while Old Mother Hubbard went shopping? Here's a totally playful and zippy version with bright, lighthearted illustrations that add humor and story to the rhymes!

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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