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Award
Boomwhackers
(Whacky Music $19.98 Score:) Wacky is the right word to describe these tuned percussion tubes-wonderfully wacky! Whack your head, hip, knee (we hope not your brother). These unique color-coded plastic tubes provide for a playful low-tech exploration of rhythm and harmony. Hand one or two out to each member of the family and have a happy wacky time!

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: .

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Award
Rabbit Ears Folktales Collection
(Rabbit Ears $10.95 Score:) Classic folktales narrated by well-known actors, and illustrated by marvelous artists, with accompaniment by well-known musicians, make these now full-sized paperbacks with audiocassettes outstanding gift choices. Be forewarned that these are not written in an easy-to-read format. These are just a few of the best choices: •John Henry told by Denzel Washington •Johnny Appleseed told by Garrison Keillor •Goldilocks told by Meg Ryan •Koi and the Kola Nuts told by Whoopi Goldberg •The Emperor's New Clothes told by Sir John Gielgud

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: .

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1997 Awards
The Odyssey
(Odds Bodkin, Rivertree Prod. $ Score:) Our 11-year-old tester listened to this four-hour set of tapes at bedtime over a period of weeks. Told with many voices and accompanied by Celtic harp and 12-string guitar, this telling introduces kids to the adventures of Odysseus and returns Homer's written words to the oral tradition from which they came.

Age: . Award Year: 1997.

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Award
Best Loved Stories
(Greathall Productions $ Score:) This collection includes "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," "The Sleeping Beauty," and "Snow White." Jim Weiss is a master storyteller who plays a whole cast of characters in every tale he tells. Also recommended, The Christmas Carol, The Jungle Book (PLATINUM AWARD '96), and Fairytale Favorites.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: .

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1999 Awards
The Illustrated Book of Ballet Stories
(by Barbara Newman/illus. by Gill Tomblin, DK $19.95 Score:) This handsomely illustrated book includes five ballet stories including "The Nutcracker," "Swan Lake," "Sleeping Beauty," "Giselle," and "Coppelia." Comes with CD that includes music from all five ballets.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 1999.

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2001 Awards
Harry Potter Audio Tapes/CD
(Listening Library $30 Score:) Taking a long trip? Don't leave home without at least one of these eight-hour cassette or CD sets of all four Harry Potter books. Jim Dale's narration will captivate and entertain the whole family. We tried these out with a carful of Potter fans who were skeptical about how the different characters would be treated. Dale uses a delicious mix of voices that adds much to the enjoyment of listening to a familiar story.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2001.

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2001 Awards
The Farewell Symphony
(by Anna H. Celenza/illus. by JoAnn E. Kitchel, Charlesbridge $19.95 Score:) Papa Haydn and his musicians are busy playing and working at Prince Nicholas' summer palace. But when their seemingly endless separation from their families stretches from summer into fall, Haydn has a plan. Based on Haydn's diaries, this charming story explains how his Symphony No. 45 really was a farewell opus!

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2001.

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Award
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey
(Candlewick $24.99 Score:) James Earl Jones brings Susan Wojciechowski's inspiring story of a woodcarver and boy to life. Packaged with book, ornament, and CD, this is a memorable gift.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: .

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Award
The Chronicles of Narnia
(by C.S. Lewis, HarperChildren's Audio $11.95 Score:) There are seven tapes in this notable collection. Each can stand alone. Together, they tell the whole story of the magic land of Narnia.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: .

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1999 Awards
Arthur's New Puppy
(by Marc Brown, Little Brown $8.95 Score:) The trials and tribulations of having a new puppy provide the drama for this typical life experience. Read by Marc Brown. Also, Arthur Meets the President. PLATINUM AWARD '97.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 1999.

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