NAPPA: About the Judges

Nappa Award Winners
Who judges NAPPA? Each of our judges has particular expertise evaluating and writing about a specific category of children's resources. They all have direct experience working with children, too, so they know what clicks for kids - what's fun, what's funny and what's destined to be an all-time favorite. But they are also parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors - men and women who have your children's interests at heart. Their choices also reflect values we know readers share. Meet the NAPPA judges:

Videos - Ranny Levy is the founder of the Coalition for Quality Children's Media, a nonprofit organization that promotes and nurtures quality children's media. Levy developed the Coalition's violence-prevention program and launched the KIDS FIRST! Film and Video Festival, which is held in more than 40 cities each year. She is also the co-author of two parents' guides to choosing videos. Learn more at

Toys - Ellen Metrick is with the National Lekotek Center, a national nonprofit organization working to make play accessible and successful for children of all abilities. As a toy specialist, Metrick works with agencies and companies on the development and evaluation of high-quality toys. Learn more about the National Lekotek Center at

Books - Helen Foster James, Ed.D., is an author and teaches children's literature at San Diego State University and National University. Kathleen Krull reviews children's literature for United Parenting Publications and is the author of the "Lives of " series and other books for young readers. Peter Neumeyer, Ph.D., a former professor of English and comparative literature, is an author and translator of books for adults and children.

Music - John Wood brings 30 years of expertise to his reviews of children's music. He was the creator and producer of the annual Theatre Arts Festival for Youth (TAFFY) Festival, and today reviews and writes about children's music for United Parenting Publications. Read some of his reviews at

Storytelling - Marilyn McPhie has been a professional storyteller for nearly two decades. A member of the National Storytelling Association, she has presented at many state and regional conferences, writes a review column for a storytelling newsletter and performs regularly for audiences of preschoolers through adults.

Software - Janice Stickley-White combines her expertise as a former teacher and computer-industry specialist when she reviews software for United Parenting Publications. She runs a company that develops training products for software developers.