By Helen Foster James, Ed.D., Kathleen Krull and Peter Neumeyer, Ph.D.
From a zany worm's diary to the importance of controlling anger, this year's Gold Award-winning books reflect the rich variety of children's literature. Here are some new gems that will entertain and inform as they instill a joy of reading in your child.
Gold Award Winners
Julius's Candy Corn and Wemberly's Ice Cream, by Kevin Henkes, HarperFestival, 2003, $6.99 each. Mouselike Wemberly and Julius, together with Wemberly's toy rabbit, indulge in small games with food. Each story ends on a gentle and satisfying note.
Learning with Animals, by Melanie Watt, Kids Can Press, 2003, $16.95. Five concept books in one - a terrific value! These clear and well-designed mini-volumes use a variety of animals to illustrate shapes, ABCs, numbers, opposites, colors - and, oh yes, the animals themselves.
My Baby Book: A Picture, Play & Tote Book, by Jackie Wolf, Playhouse Publishing, 2003, $5.99; available at www.playhousepublishing.com. Insert your favorite snapshots and your baby becomes the featured character in this delightful board book. One page records important facts about "Baby Me" and "Big Me," and the cutout carrying handle makes it convenient to tote and share.
Time to Pee, by Mo Willems, Hyperion, 2003, $12.99. Not just (hilarious) bathroom humor, but an important topic, handled delicately: how to train for using the toilet. A million mice show how to liberate oneself from diapers.
Honors Award Winners
Bear Wants More, by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman; McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster, 2003; $16.95; www.SimonSaysKids.com. In this most worthy sequel to Bear Snores On, our cuddly brown bear is SOO hungry.
I Can't Talk Yet, But When I Do, by Julie Markes, illustrated by Laura Rader; HarperCollins, 2003; $15.99; www.harperchildrens.com. An intriguing title and a sweet, fresh way to encourage siblings to get along.
Quack!, by Arthur Yorinks, illustrated by Adrienne Yorinks; Abrams, 2003; $12.95; www.abramsbooks.com. How about a story told all in quacks for a fun read-aloud? Creatively quilted art accompanies a young duck journeying to the moon.
To see winning books for other age groups, return to NAPPA 2003 Award Winners: Books.
See also: NAPPA 2002 Award Winners: Books