As the nation’s oldest, nonprofit program, The Parents’ Choice Awards acknowledges and honors quality children’s media. It is designed to help parents and caregivers know the what’s-what in the children’s market by awarding products most suitable for children. And while the Parents’ Choice Foundation’s panel is made up of educators, librarians, leading industry experts and parents, these products and materials are judged by kids as well.
The highest and most prominent of all of The Parents’ Choice Awards is Gold. Every year this award is presented to books, toys, games, videos, software, magazines, audio recordings, and television programs that appeal to the highest quality of their genre. The judgment benchmarks include:
Highest production standards
Universal human values
A unique, individual quality that pushes the product a notch above others
That’s why the KidLit TV team is honored to say that we were awarded with The Parents Choice Gold Award for Fall 2015.
Visitors are almost guaranteed to find something interesting and useful, whether they are consumers, producers, or curators of children’s literature.
–Parents’ Choice on KidLit TV
Imagination, fun and education are what The Parents’ Choice Awards’ committees look for in children’s products. To celebrate our award, KidLit TV made a list of our favorite Parents’ Choice Gold Award winners this year.
Our Favorite Gold Award Winning Books
Mouse and Frog (Deborah Freedman) – A little Mouse wakes up getting the itch to write a story. Though, he doesn’t write the words. Instead, he draws a pencil outline of a table set for tea. But then his friend Frog leaps into the picture and takes over the story, spilling the tea and bringing kings and dragons and refreshments into the picture. Once Mouse’s patience runs out he shouts for Frog to “STOP!” but then realizes that working together will create the best story of all.
Home (Carson Ellis) – Illustrator of Colin Meloy’s Wildwood Chronicles, Carson Ellis has created a visual journey crafted with surprises and wit and takes us to the places every being calls home. An urban apartment building? Maybe a triple-masted sailing ship? How about the child-filled shoe of nursery rhyme fame or an “underground lair,”, “sea homes,” and “bee homes”? The dwellings of a Slovakian duchess, a Kenyan blacksmith, a Norse god and more are also portrayed in Ellis’ Home. It’s a story that will surely take you on a homey adventure.
Trombone Shorty (Troy Andrews) – This wonderfully told, diverse story tells us the tale of Troy Andrews who grew up in the Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans. Troy was constantly surrounded by the magic of music and its many makers. Troy’s big brother James played the trumpet, had his own band, and always said “Follow me!” to Troy and his playmates. And so they did, making their own instruments until Troy found a real instrument—a broken trombone— and taught himself to play.
Other Fabulous Websites
KidLit TV is a big fan of kid’s websites. Especially websites that get kids motivated to learn, read and interact with their peers. Curiosityville was the only other website to garner a gold-level award this fall. This website is a subscription-based website that provides children (ages 3-8) with hundreds of activities and lesson plans. Kids can choose from six different animal characters to “play” with in an online area. Each animal comes from a different country, each liking a different activity. You can play and learn all about each character when you take part in these online games that are scaled to various ages and learning levels.
Not only is this website wonderful for kids, but parents and educators can also search through a massive collection of hands-on activities that will teach kids important, but fun lessons. One lesson plan even asks children to read or hear the story of Abiyoyo and then make a ukulele! There’s even a section for clubs that offer ideas for offline group activities!
Our Favorite Gold Award Winning Apps
Toca Life: Town – Toca Life: Town is an app created by Toca Boca AB. It features familiar Toca Boca characters in a fully interactive town. Like Nintendo’s famous game Animal Crossing there are buildings, characters, and hundreds of objects to move around and manipulate. Children can host a birthday party, solve a mystery at the police department, go grocery shopping, cook a family meal, or create their own stories and scenarios. Toca Life: Town is surely does encourage imaginative play and storytelling to all who stop by for a visit.
Simple Machines – Are your kids interested in engineering or how machines work? If so, Simple Machines is the app for you! It is designed to teach how six simple machines work; a lever, screws, wheels and axles, inclined planes, wedges, and pulleys. The illustrations are beautifully designed with each experiment. Once you discover another simple machine, a lever is used as a fulcrum to catapult a ball onto a castle in an attempt to knock it down. When the castle is knocked down, a dragon inside is revealed and soon the castle is built again. It’s a fun game that will keep your kids occupied for hours.
Robot Factory – It’s no lie that kids love robots. In Robot Factory, the lab itself may be clean and simple but it offers many building possibilities. With up to 100 different functioning parts, the robots are assembled, tested and then placed in an environment in which they need to move around, stay powered and survive. To build a robot your kids will need to think, test, observe and redesign, almost like a real engineer. It’s a great game to improve observational skills.
Below is a video of a 10-yr old boy showing kids how to use the app. He only played with it for about five minutes before taping the video, so you can see how simple it is to get started.
What’s next for KidLit TV
We are excited to be included in the Parents’ Choice round-up of gold medal winners for 2015. And for the great review we received from their reviewers.
KidLit TV is a jam-packed resource site for parents, educators, librarians, authors, illustrators, and anyone else who has an interest in children’s literature.
The KidLit TV plans to grow and to continue providing great content for parents and educators all over the world. Nothing is more important than showing a child the magic of reading and learning. That’s why it’s our job, as a team, to keep on encouraging parents, teachers and, of course, kids about literacy, technology and the fun of learning.