Meet the 2007 NAPPA Children's Products Judges

Nappa Award WinnersIt’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it! NAPPA’s panel of judges are all experts in evaluating and writing about their specific categories of children’s products. They have direct experience working with children, so they know what kids like. They recognize the qualities that make a good product truly stand out from the crowd.

Books – Helen Foster James, Ed.D., is a lecturer for San Diego State University and the former coordinator of library media services for the San Diego County Office of Education. She is the author of S is for S’mores: A Camping Alphabet.

Books – Kathleen Krull (not pictured) has reviewed children’s literature for regional parenting magazines across the country for nearly a decade. She is the author of the "Lives of..." series and other books for young readers.


Toys – Ellen Metrick has more than 20 years of experience in the toy industry. As the toy specialist and manager of business development for the National Lekotek Center, a nonprofit focusing on accessible play for children of all abilities, she consults with manufacturers on the development and evaluation of high-quality toys. To learn more, visit  and

DVDs – Ranny Levy is the founder and president of the 16-year-old nonprofit Coalition for Quality Children’s Media. Levy developed the Junior Film Critics program and the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, which provides high-quality family films for more than 100 venues nationwide. She is the co-author of The New York Times/KIDS FIRST Guide to the Best Children’s Videos and a "guru guide" for Tivo’s KidZone.

Music – John Wood brings more than 30 years of expertise to his reviews of children’s music, which appear in parenting magazines across the country. He created and produced the annual Theatre Arts Festival for Youth (TAFFY) Festival for 10 years and has performed more than 8,000 shows with his children’s group, J.P. Nightingale.

Software & Video Games – Alex Chisholm has worked extensively in games research and creative development as co-director of the Education Arcade at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is vice president and director of content experience at IPG Media’s Consumer Experience Practice, and has also worked with various TV, film and software companies.


Storytelling & Spoken-Word – Marilyn McPhie has been a professional storyteller for more than two decades. She is a state liaison for the National Storytelling Network and has presented at many national and regional conferences. She writes reviews of storytelling resources and performs hundreds of times a year for audiences ranging from preschoolers to adults.


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