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2002 Award
Squeak's Good Idea
(by Max Eilenberg/ illus by Patrick Benson, Candlewick $14.99 Score:) Squeak, a small elephant thinks he wants to go outside, but his mother, father and brother do not want to join him. Nevertheless, Squeak gets dressed for every eventuality and packs a picnic as well. All the layers of clothes end up not being needed. However, the picnic turns out to be a good idea for all. This is an old-fashioned picture book with a pace and childlike simplicity that toddlers and young prescholers find so satisfying. Benson's handsome illustrations provide plenty of details to talk about and tell the story well enough so that young children can "re-read" the little adventure to themselves or others. 2-4.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Quack!
(by Arthur Yorinks/illus. by Adrienne Yorinks, Winslow Press $16 Score:) Kids and parents will "quack-up" as they share this almost wordless adventure of a little duck who takes off for the moon and misses his many friends below. Written in "quack" here's an imaginative book that not only invites hamming it up, it allows kids to "read" the pictures and tell the story to themselves or in their own words. Illustrated with charming fabric quilts, this is going to be a blast for storytellers who are able to emote in the language of Quack as they go to the moon and back. 2-5.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Iris and Walter and Baby Rose
(by Elissa Haden Guest/ illus. by Christine Davenie, Harcourt $14 Score:) More honest than most new baby books, this easy-to-read story opens with the news that Iris is about to become a big sister. But when the new baby arrives, Iris is less than thrilled with the reality of baby's demanding fussing. Thanks to Grandpa and time, all's well that ends well.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
That Summer
(by Tony Johnston/ illus. by Barry Moser, Harcourt $16 Score:) We see many books about death, bu few like this uusual picturebook that deals with the sorrow of losing a sibling. Moser's illustrations set just the right tone to this somber story of a brother with cancer who will not survive the summer. A lyrical and very special book to share with those who are dealing with such a heart wrenching loss.

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

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2002 Award
Martin's Big Words
(by Doreen Rappaport/ illus. by Bryan Collier, Hyperion $15.99 Score:) Collier's striking illustrations make this a handsome choice for introducing young listeners to Martin Luther King, Jr. Rappaport uses clear but simple language to explain some of the big and poetic words that stirred the minds of millions in the 20th century and beyond. 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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How Kind!
(by Mary Murphy, Candlewick $14.99 Score:) Without being preachy, it illustrates the idea that being kind to others is a good quality to pass along. It has an old-fashion simplicity to the message that's charming. It begins with hen giving pig an egg. Pig then in turn thinks of something nice to do for rabbit . Rabbit does something kind for cow, and so on. The vibrant illustrations will also attract young readers to this important concept.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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Dinnertime!
(by Sue Williams/illus. by Kerry Argent, Harcourt $16 Score:) A hungry fox reduces the number of rabbits one by one. Told with a repetitive refrain, this seemingly scary tale has a surprisingly happy ending with all the rabbits having escaped the fox. The book ends with all six rabbits cozy in their bed. Some preschoolers may find the sharp- toothed fox and the premise of the story a bit too intense. Others may enjoy the safe scare of the book.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: .

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Pete and Polo's Farmyard Adventure
(by Adrian Reynolds, Orchard $16.95 Score:) This set out to be a little counting mystery for young children. Pete is looking for the ten missing ducklings on the farm. The problem for the reader is that you can not see all the ducklings that are being counted in the text. There are pages where the text counts ducklings that are not illustrated making it particularly frustrating for beginning counters. For children that are just starting to learn how to count to ten, the relationship between the text and objects being counted need to be literal. The illustrations are charming and would have otherwise been an enjoyable little counting mystery book.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
No More Kissing
(by Emma Chichester Clark, Random House $15.95 Score:) Momo the monkey wants to know why there is so much kissing! He observes that other families of animals also do too much kissing and finally announces that no one should kiss him. When the new baby arrives he finds that his own no-kissing rule is very hard to follow. Preschoolers that feel overwhelmed by kissing relatives will recognize themselves in this book.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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Award
Wooden Alphabet & Math Blocks with Braille
( $30 Score:) SNAP INFO: These Uncle Goose wooden blocks look like classic alphabet blocks, but with one wonderful difference! Two faces of each cube have a letter impression and raised Braille cell for that letter. Also top rated, a Braille math set ($17) includes zero through 9, and plus and minus signs. (888) 774-2046.

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

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