The 2012 National Parenting Publications Awards results are in
and we've awarded the year's best products for children, providing
busy parents with this year's sure-bet holiday gift
guide. Parents always want to give their kids hours of
listening, reading and playtime fun. These Gold-Award winning books
and magazines do just that.
We've organized the books by age, beginning with infant.
By Helen Foster James and Virginia
Nancy Tafuri; Little, Brown and Company, 2012; $17.99; nancytafuri.com.
Mommies and babies aren't the only ones who enjoy sharing
kisses. All throughout the farm, animal families snuggle up with
their little ones, offering them warmth and love.
Published by Highlights for Children Inc.; 12 issues, $34.44
(yearly subscription); highlights.com
A magazine just for baby with colorful images, simple stories
and fun activities parent and child can enjoy together.
Barney Saltzberg; Abrams Appleseed, 2012; $15.95; abramsbooks.com
When Andrew gets hold of a pencil, anything can-and
does-happen in this innovative and artistic book. The story
literally unfolds step-by-step as readers are invited to follow
Andrew through flaps and gatefolds. This lighthearted
depiction of artistic inspiration is sure to engage doodlers of all
Ashley Wolff; Beach Lane Books, 2012; $16.99; kids.simonandschuster.com
Baby Bear has so much to learn about the world! From the
moment he wakes until it's time to curl up and go to sleep, he
explores outside with his mama. They see green leaves, blue jays,
brown trout, and-best of all-a patch of yummy red
Hazel Hutchins, illustrated by Fanny; Annick Press, 2012; $6.95;
This little dog is very busy cheerfully digging up and
chewing up everything in sight. It's a sad little dog who's locked
up in the pen while the house and garden are tidied up. But all is
not lost, as he's cautiously welcomed back up the steps and into
the house at the end of the day.
Crescent Dragonwagon, illustrated by David McPhail; Little,
Brown and Company, 2012; $16.99; lb-kids.com
In this lyrical animal ABC book, a mother tries to tuck
her child in for the night by telling him about all the awake
animals that are getting sleepy. From antlered Antelope to zzz-ing
Zebra, this alphabet of animals becomes an exquisite celebration of
language and nature, just right for lulling even the most
wide-awake little ones into a cozy, soothing slumber.
Barney Saltzberg; Workman Publishing, 2012; $15.95; workman.com
Every child who wears glasses will know just how Arlo
feels, and will feel better because of it. And every parent will
want that child to know that glasses are cool and fun and enable us
to do the things we want to do. Take Arlo: He's a shaggy,
free-spirited dog who loves to play catch, until one day he can't.
He can't see the ball anymore. He needs glasses!
Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Peter Brown; Simon and Schuster
Books for Young Readers, 2012; $16.99; simonandschuster.com
Jasper Rabbit loves carrots-especially Crackenhopper Field
carrots. He eats them on the way to school. He eats them going to
Little League. He eats them walking home. Until the day the
carrots start following him...or are they?
David Catrow; Orchard Books, Scholastic, 2012; $16.99; scholastic.com
In this illustrated version of the classic novelty song, a
mad scientist's monster performs a new dance which becomes "the hit
of the land" when the scientist throws a party for other
Naoko Stoop; Little, Brown and Company, 2012; $15.99; lb-kids.com
Red Knit Cap Girl lives with her animal friends in an
enchanted forest. There is so much to see and do, but more than
anything Red Knit Cap Girl wishes she could talk to the Moon. Join
Red Knit Cap Girl and her forest friends on a journey of curiosity,
imagination, and joy as they search for a way to meet the
William Joyce; Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2012; $17.99;
The story that inspired the Academy Award-winning animated short
film is now an all-new picture book. Morris Lessmore loved
words. He loved stories. He loved books. But every story has its
upsets. Everything in Morris Lessmore's life, including his own
story, is scattered to the winds. But the power of story will save
Jessie Hartland; Schwartz & Wade Books (Random House
Children's Books), 2012; $20.99; randomhouse.com/kids
Follow Julia Child from her childhood in Pasadena,
California, to her life as a spy in WWII, to the cooking classes
she took in Paris, to the publication of "Mastering the Art of
French Cooking" to the funny moments of being a chef
on TV. Young chefs and Julia Child fans will exclaim, "ooooh la
la," about this book, which is as energetic and eccentric as the
Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Heather Ross; Atheneum Books for
Young Readers, 2012; $16.99; kids.simonandschuster.com
When another girl has already purchased the most perfect
birthday gift for Chloe's friend Emma, Chloe decides she'll make a
present-something you can't buy in a store. But crafting isn't
easy, and it's beginning to look like she won't have a great idea
in time. Fortunately, with a good doodle session and a whole lot of
glitter to inspire her, Chloe figures out just the thing to save
the day-and with a little help from her trusty glue gun, she just
might save a friendship, too!
Barbara Kerley, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham; Scholastic
Press, 2012; $17.99; scholastic.com
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were very different. But these
two very different gentlemen did have two things in common: They
both cared deeply about the American colonies, and neither cared
much for the British tyrant, King George.
Richard Michelson, illustrated by Eric Velasquez; Sleeping Bear
Press, 2012; $16.95; sleepingbearpress.com
In the 1920's there was no place for Willie, or any black
person, on a golf cource. It was a game for white people only, at
least in America. But his enthusiasm for golf and his belief in
what he knew to be right drove Willie Powell to change that, and to
Nick Crane, illustrated by David Dean; Barefoot Books, 2011;
Divided by geographical region, this atlas
looks at the way in which communities and cultures across the
world have been shaped by their natural environment, and at the
ideas and initiatives which are shaping the future. An atlas for
the twenty-first century, it shows how all parts of the planet are
interconnected and looks at the challenges which face us all in
creating a sustainable future.
Larry Dane Brimner; Calkins Creek, 2011; $16.95; calkinscreekbooks.com
In the nineteen fifties and early sixties, Birmingham,
Alabama, became known as Bombingham. At the center of this violent
time in the fight for civil rights, and standing at opposite ends,
were Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and Eugene "Bull" Connor. From
his pulpit, Shuttlesworth agitated for racial equality, while
Commissioner Connor fought for the status quo.
Mike Jung, illustrated by Mike Maihack; Arthur A. Levine Books,
2012; $16.99; scholastic.com
Vincent Wu is Captain Stupendous's No. 1 Fan, but even he
has to admit that Captain Stupendous has been a little off lately.
During Professor Mayhem's latest attack, Captain Stupendous barely
made it out alive - although he did manage to save Vincent from a
giant monster robot. It's Vincent's dream come true... until he
finds out Captain Stupendous's secret identity: It's Polly
Winnicott-Lee, the girl Vincent happens to have a crush
Christopher Paul Curtis; Wendy Lamb Books (Random House
Children's Books), 2012; $15.99; randomhouse.com/kids
Deza is the smartest girl in her class in Gary, Indiana,
singled out by teachers for a special path in life. But the Great
Depression hit Gary hard, and there are no jobs for black men. When
her beloved father leaves to find work, Deza, Mother, and her older
brother Jimmie go in search of him, and end up in a Hooverville
outside Flint, Michigan. Jimmie's beautiful voice inspires him to
leave the camp to be a performer, while Deza and Mother find a new
home, and cling to the hope that they will find Father. The twists
and turns of their story reveal the devastation of the Depression
and prove that Deza truly is the Mighty Miss Malone.
R.J. Palacio; Knopf Books for Young Readers (Random House
Children's Books), 2012; $15.99; randomhouse.com/kids
August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up
until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school.
Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to
be treated as an ordinary kid-but his new classmates can't get past
Auggie's extraordinary face. The story begins from
Auggie's point of view, but soon switches to include his
classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These
perspectives converge in a portrait of one community's struggle
with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.