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2000 Award
Kipper
(Hallmark $9.98 Score:) Like Mark Inkpen's storybooks featuring Kipper the dog, each little vignette has a small adventure without the all-too-typical terrifying drama that has marked so much of today's videos for the very young. 2 & up.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2000.

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2001 Award
Franklin's Blanket
(Universal $12.95 Score:) Franklin is about to go on a visit and he can't find his blanket. Everyone offers him a substitute, but like most young viewers, Franklin wants his one and only blanket which turns up just in the nick of time. Closed-captioned. . 4-7. Most of the original videos are excellent. Some of the recent (2001) versions have been turned up a notch in the scary cartoon mode department. You need to screen these before showing them. Franklin and the Green Knight, which starts out fine and then drops in a big-beaked griffin and fire-eating dragon, is just way too frightening for preschoolers.

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

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2001 Award
CinderElmo
(Sony $12.95 Score:) Kids who know and love the story of Cinderella are going to love this lively and amusing "Elmo-sized" version of the story. As you might guess from the title, it's CinderElmo who is left behind on the night of the Princess' ball. His Fairy Godfather Oliver Platt does his magic. Also in the live action/animated cast are Kathy Najimy as the mean old stepmother, Keri Russell as the Princess, and French Stewart as a dog named Prince. You can use this as an introduction to comparative lit and discuss how it's the same and different from the original tale. Closed-captioned. 4 & up.

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

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2000 Award
Sing & Dance with Barney
(Lyons Group $14.95 Score:) Depending on where you stand, this 56-minute reunion tape featuring 27 Barney hits will either be a preschooler's dream come true, or your nine-year old's worst nightmare. 2-6 Still top rated, Barney Live in New York City. From Radio City Music Hall, here's Barney in the Big Apple!

Age: Toddlers,Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2000.

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2000 Awards
Sing Along Songs
(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. We suggest renting and previewing before you buy. 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. New for 2002, Winnie the Pooh Sing a Song with Tigger is a solid good choice with some new music from the Tigger movie. 4 & up.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2000.

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1995 Awards
Raffi on Broadway
( $19.95 Score:) A real musical experience with the "eco-troubadour" singing many old favorites such as "Baby Beluga." We could have done without the pessimism of "Will I Ever Grow Up?" but kids probably hear it as a song of longing rather than doubt. 4 & up. Also classic: Raffi in Concert

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 1995.

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2000 Award
Kids' Favorite Songs
(Sony $12.95 Score:) Elmo is going to play kids' top ten favorite songs on his radio show. The problem is picking them. With hits like "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt," and "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" in the line-up there's not a miss in the list. But what is Elmo's favorite? A good choice of songs kids show know with lots of counting backwards mixed in. 2 & up. Still top rated, Jim Henson singing the Best of Kermit.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2000.

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1997 Awards
Fiesta!
(Sony $12.95 Score:) A lively Sesame Street video with many songs performed in both English and Spanish, introducing kids to counting, colors, and familiar music with a Latin beat. 2 1/2 & up. Also top rated: Get Up & Dance and PLATINUM AWARD'97 winner, Elmocize.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 1997.

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Elmo's World
(Sony $12.95 Score:) We found the production below the usual high standard 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.

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

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1999 Award
Clap To It!
(Go Kid Productions $12.95 Score:) You and your kids will love learning these clapping games and rhymes to play with friends or family. We laughed out loud as we tried to keep up with the kids who demo and then teach you traditional clapping games that would be fun for a party. Thank goodness for the rewind button! 5-9

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

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