KIDS' BOOKS, TOYS, VIDEOS HONORED

Parents' Choice, a nonprofit organization, has announced its 1992 awards for children's books, toys, videos, computer programs, television programs, rock 'n' roll, audio recordings and more.

Diana Green, editor-in-chief of the quarterly review of children's media, says this year's awards go to "the entertaining products that introduce skills, reinforce them and glamorize courage and common sense." The awards were established in 1981.Selections were made over a nine-month period by 400 panelists, including prominent critics, teachers, librarians, parents and children. The listing includes 200 approved award and honor winners.

The awards are broken down into the following categories: storybooks, toys, videos, classic videos, picture books, computer programs, audio, rock 'n' roll, television-national, television-local, doing and learning, parenting, magazines, electronic encyclopedias, comics, trustworthy catalogs, paperbacks and video games.

In order to include children of all ages, backgrounds, interests and skills, each category has three to four winners in each of four age groups: preschool-kindergarten, 6-8 years, 9-11 years and 12 and up.

Among the winners: Boomerang, an audio magazine from Listen and Learn Home Education for children 6 to 12 years of age ($39.95 for 12 issues) and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Challenges" by Michael Dooney (Mirage Publishing, $6.95), a comic for children ages 9 to 12.

Even "The Simpsons" television show (Fox) got an approving nod from the critics. "Yes, you should watch this with your kids, to be able to discuss and perhaps even disapprove of some of the `negative' behaviors in the series - but its too funny, and intelligent, to miss." Other winners include:

STORYBOOKS

"Slither McCreep and His Brother, Joe" by Tony Johnston. Illustrated by Victoria Chess. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. $13.95. Ages 4-6.

"Talk Talk, An Ashanti Legend" by Deborah Netwon Chocolate. Illustrated by Dave Albers. Troll. $11.89. Ages 4-7.

"Humbug" by Nina Bawden. Clarion. $13.95. Ages 8-12.

"The Righteous Revenge of Artemis Bonner" by Walter Dean Myers. HarperCollins. $14. Ages 10 and up.

TOYS

Gymfinity. Today's Kids. $34. Birth to 2 years of age.

Play and Learn Clock. Little Tikes. $12-$14. Ages 2-5.

Children's Theatre. Peeleman-McLaughlin. $19.99. Ages 4-8.

Mad Dash. Itos. $12.95. Ages 8 and up.

VIDEOS

"Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel." Golden Books-Michael Sporn Animation. $12.95. Ages 4-6.

"Shelley Duvall's Bedtime Stories." MCA-Universal. $12.98 each. Ages 3-6.

"Stories from the Black Tradition." CC Studios. $14.95. Ages 4-7.

PICTURE BOOKS

"The Return of Freddy LeGrand" by Jon Agee. Farrar Straus and Giroux. $15.

"The Steadfast Tin Soldier" by Hans Christian Andersen. Retold by Tor Seidler. Illustrated by Fred Marcellino. HarperCollins. $15.

"I Saw Esau" edited by Peter and Iona Opie. Illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Candlewick Press. $19.95.

"The Widow's Broom" by Chris Van Allsburg. Houghton Mifflin. $17.95.

"Shortcut" by Donald Crews. Greenwillow. $14.

COMPUTER PROGRAMS

"Millie's Math House." Edmark. Macintosh, IBM. $49.95. Ages 2-6.

"Snoopy's Game Club." Accolade. $49.95. IBM. Ages 3-8.

"Eco-Adventures in the Rainforest." Chariot. Macintosh, IBM. $59.95. Ages 10-15.

"Destination: Mars!" Compu-Teach. $59.95. Macintosh, IBM, Apple. Ages 11-17.

AUDIO RECORDINGS

"Suzy Is a Rocker." By Tom Paxton. Sony Kids' Music, $8.98. Ages 3 and up.

"Play All Day." By Timmy Abell. Upstream Records. $9.95. Ages 5-8.

"Favorite Stories." By Diane Ferlatte. Have I Got a Story to Tell Co. $10. Ages 6 and up.

MAGAZINES

Ladybug. Carus Publishing. 12 issues, $29.97. Ages 2-7.

Hopscotch, a girls' magazine. The Bluffton News Publishing and Printing Co. Six issues, $15. Ages 6-12.

Kidsports. ProServ Publishing Corp. Six issues, $9.97. Ages 7-14.

VIDEO GAMES

"Sesame Street Countdown." Hi Tech Expressions (NES). Ages 5 and under.

"Mario Paint." Nintendo (Super NES). Ages 6 and up.

"Super Mario Kart." Nintendo (Super NES). Ages 6 and up.

"R.B.I. Baseball 4." Tengen (Sega). Ages 10 and up.

A sample copy of the complete Parents' Choice listing of 200 award and honor selections is available by sending your name, address and ZIP code and a check or money order for $3 to: Parents' Choice, Box 185, Newton, MA 02168.

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