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2002 Award
Kipper's Rainy Day
(Mick Inkpen, Harcourt $5.95 Score:) Move over, Spot! Kipper's new lift-the-flap books invite children's responses and reflect toddlers' budding awareness of weather. Also, Kipper's Sunny Day.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Fish Eyes
(Lois Ehlert, Harcourt $6.95 Score:) Brilliant colors fill the page of this counting book with small holes for little fingers to poke as they count the fishes on each page. An old book in a new cardboard format to suit little hands.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Alex Puppet Theatre
(Alex $80 Score:) Alex's updated big heare has a clock for show time and new eye-appealing graphics! This stable floor model is 48 inches high, with painted rim on one side and a chalk surface for messages. Their new for 2002 table-top model looks like a fairytale castle and comes with two felt puppets($50). 3 and up.

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

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2002 Award
Hullabaloos Puppet
(Manhattan Toy $10 Score:) With big eyes and simple mitten-shaped mouths, Hal the Horse, Bea the Bird and Rex the Rat are easy-to-manipulate glove puppets of bright velour with ribbed cuff. Fine for beginners. 3 and up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Doodle
(Gund $28 Score:) Doodle looks like an old-fashioned honey-colored jointed bear, but his limbs simply swing. His coat is nubby but silky to the touch and his bottom and limbs have jus enough beans to make him a hefty 16 inch huggable. For a smaller armful, 10 inch Luv Me Bear($12) with curly honey coat, is also a winner.

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

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Awards
Veterinarian Costume
(RC2 Learning Curve $40 Score:) For playing Vet, here is a charming Small Miracles Lets Pretend Kit with a child- sized jacket, a puppy, stethoscope nd other medical tools.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: .

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Awards
Little Doctor Kit
(International Playthings $18.99 Score:) A new kit with some high-tech sizzle: a stethoscope with heartbeat and coughing sounds, a squeaking syringe, a blood pressure gauge with moving dial, and other chunky tools in a small case. Like other kits we tested this is also hard for kids to reload once they take the pieces out. 2 and up.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: .

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Awards
Funnel Tunnel
(Playhut $25 Score:) Testers giggled their way through this 9 foot long tunnel with articulated narrow and widening parts that change the experience s they crawl along! Also top-rated: longer and more spacious Yellow School Bus and Red Fire Engine and a blue Express Train engine. These each easily accommodate two kids for pretend fun. Still top-rated: 5 foot long Wiggly Worm tunnel, Platinum Award 2001.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: .

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Talkin Fashion Vanity
(Little Tikes $50 Score:) Almost surreal, this vanity not only has a talking mirror that gives compliments, it nags kids to return the hairbrush or lipstick to the right slot after the sensors feel the object has been used long enough. We think kids do not need toys that nag-that is what parents are for, right? We know girls of a certain age enjoy a scaled down dressing table, but this is an example of a bossy, intrusive toy where less would have been more.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: .

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2003 Award
Small Miracles Lets Pretend Careers Costumes
(RC2 Learning Curve $35 Score:) Handsome enough to wear as real clothes, this collection includes: Firefighter's jacket, hat, and pretend extinguisher; Construction worker's vest, hard hat, flag, and tools; Police Officer's blue jacket, hat, police radio, whistle, and tickets (ouch!); and Chef's and Train Engineer's outfits. Platinum Award '02. New for 2003, Race Car Driver, Cowboy & Cowgirl, & Storybook Princess. This company also makes wonderful Tutus ($15 & up) and Capes for Kings, Knights, and Wizards. Platinum Award '01. 38.

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

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