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What is the Children's Choices project?
Each year, 10,000 schoolchildren from different regions of the United States read and vote on the newly published children's and young adults' trade books that they like best. The Children's Choices for 2002 list is the 28th in a series that first appeared as "Classroom Choices" in the November 1975 issue of The Reading Teacher (RT), a peer-reviewed journal for preschool, primary, and elementary levels published eight times a year by the International Reading Association (IRA). This list is designed for use not only by teachers, librarians, administrators, and booksellers, but also by parents, grandparents, caregivers, and everyone who wishes to encourage young people to read for pleasure.
Children's Choices is a project of a joint committee supported by IRA and The Children's Book Council (CBC). IRA is a nonprofit educational organization whose members include classroom and reading teachers, school administrators and supervisors, parents, college/university faculty, and others who are dedicated to improving reading instruction and promoting literacy worldwide.
The Children's Book Council is the nonprofit professional association of U.S. publishers and packagers of books for young people. It encourages childhood literacy through sponsorship of national programs including Young People's Poetry Week and the 93-year-old annual observance of Children's Book Week, as well as working cooperatively with other professional associations.
In 1969, IRA and CBC formed a liaison committee to explore areas of mutual interest to reading teachers and publishers. Among the committee's initial charges was the development of a core selection of trade books for the classroom. This list of Children's Choices has remained an important activity of the committee, which each year produces this child-selected bibliography identifying titles that can be used successfully in reading programs, can be related to the classroom curricula, and are known to engage children.
How are books selected and annotated?
More than 700 books were evaluated by children for Children's Choices for 2002. The books to be tested were selected by publishers from the books they published in 2001 and were sent to five review teams located in different regions of the United States. Each team consisted of a children's literature specialist plus one or more classroom teachers who in turn worked with other classroom teachers, school librarians, and 2,000 children. Throughout the school year, the books were in classrooms, being read to or by children.
Children's votes were tabulated in March, and the top 100 titles for 2002 were announced at the annual International Reading Association Convention in May. The review teams provided an annotation for each title on the list.
What bibliographic information is provided?
Books selected for the Children's Choices list have been grouped by reading levels:
Beginning readers (ages 5-6) Young readers (ages 6-8) Intermediate readers (ages 8-10) Advanced readers (ages 10-13)
Users should note that many books read easily by beginning readers are also enjoyed by more advanced readers, and many titles for advanced readers are accessible to intermediate and younger readers or can be read aloud in the classroom.
The title, author, illustrator, publisher, ISBN (International Standard Book Number), and price are provided for each book as well as a brief annotation prepared by a review team. All books listed are hardcover unless otherwise noted. Prices are accurate as of late spring 2002; they are subject to change without notice. These abbreviations are provided for easy reference:
Ill. illustrator of the book
pp. page count
ISBN identifies books and facilitates purchasing titles from bookstores, wholesalers, or publishers
(library) the ISBN, followed by the price, for the library edition of a book
(trade) the ISBN, followed by the price, for the edition of the book available from booksellers.
Pb. a paperback book
F. paperback is forth coming but not yet available
All books on this list should be available through your local library or a local bookseller.
A Cat and a Dog Claire Masurel. Ill. Bob Kolar.
Cat and Dog fight all the time, until one day when they need each other very badly. The bright colors and simple text make this story one that young children will ask for again and again. (Team 2)
North-South Books. 32 pp. ISBN 1-55858-950-3 (library). US$14.50. ISBN 1-55858-949-X (trade). US$13.95.
Clara Caterpillar Pamela Duncan Edwards. Ill. Henry Cole.
This story artfully combines information about caterpillars with a surprisingly sweet story. Children will enjoy finding all the words that start with c as they learn about caterpillars and friendship. (Team 3)
HarperCollins. 40 pp. ISBN 0-06-028996-1 (library). US$15.89. ISBN 0-06-028995-3 (trade). US$15.95. CAN$23.95.
Colors Robert Crowther. Ill. by the author.
This is the perfect book for any child just learning the colors. It is a beautifully engineered pop-up book with flaps, tabs, and hidden pictures. This interactive book invites a relaxing evening with your child. (Team 2)
Candlewick Press. 16 pp. ISBN 0-7636-1404-1 (trade). US$12.99. CAN$17.99.
The Dirty Little Boy Margaret Wise Brown. Ill. Steven Salerno.
A little boy tries to bathe like the animals do--in dirt--and becomes dirtier than when he started. This story first appeared in Jack and Jill magazine in 1939. (Team 5)
Winslow Press. 36 pp. ISBN 1-890817-52-X (trade). US$16.95. CAN$26.00.
Do You Have My Quack? Keith Faulkner. Ill. Rob Hefferan.
Very young readers will enjoy interacting with the text through the animal sounds shown on pull-tabs. The simple storyline encourages participation and retelling. (Team 5)
Scholastic. 11 pp. ISBN 0-439-24085-9 (trade). US$10.95.
Farm Flu Teresa Bateman. Ill. Nadine Bernard Westcott.
A young boy copes admirably with an outbreak of flu on the farm by doing "what my mom would do if it were me who had the flu." Chickens, pigs, turkeys, and sheep get cured, and then minister to their caretaker. (Team 4)
Albert Whitman. 32 pp. ISBN 0-8075-2274-0 (library). US$15.95.
Flip and Flop Dawn Apperley. Ill. by the author.
This story will appeal to any reader who has a brother or sister. Flip and Flop find that they enjoy each other's company more after taking time to play with friends of their own. (Team 3)
Orchard. 32 pp. ISBN 0-439-28892-4 (library). US$12.95.
Froggy Eats Out Jonathan London. Ill. Frank Remkiewecz.
Froggy goes to a fancy restaurant with his parents for their anniversary. Froggy becomes impatient and forgets his manners. At the end of the meal they leave the restaurant and head out for hamburgers. (Team 5)
Viking. 32 pp. ISBN 0-670-89686-1 (trade). US$15.99. CAN$23.50. Pb., Puffin, F.
Good Night, Monkey Boy Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Ill. by the author.
Young readers will connect with the warm pictures and familiar bedtime scene. The text is oversized and simple. The illustrations are soft and gentle. This is one bedtime story that can be read over and over again. (Team 3)
Knopf. 40 pp. ISBN 0-375-91121-9 (library). US$16.99. ISBN 0-375-81121-4 (trade). US$14.95. CAN$22.95.
Good Thing You're Not an Octopus Julie Markes. Ill. Maggie Smith.
The recurring pattern and humorous illustrations help a little boy see it's a good thing he's not ... a bird who has to eat worms, a shark with 200 teeth to brush, or even an octopus trying to get dressed. (Team 4)
HarperCollins. 40 pp. ISBN 0-06-028466-8 (library). US$14.89. ISBN 0-06-028465-X (trade). US$14.95. CAN$19.95.
Hoodwinked Arthur Howard. Ill. by the author.
A young witch wants a pet. She tries a toad, two bats, and she even considers a warthog. Finally, a pet finds her and they become the best of friends. (Team 5)
Harcourt. 32 pp. ISBN 0-15-202656-8 (trade). US$16.00.
I Am Not Sleepy …