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January 2010 | Vol. IX - No. 1
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Top-10 Most-Wanted Children's Books

Reading Gets Fancy


HarperCollins continues to give book sales high-end flair with "Fancy Nancy" titles that make kids and cash registers smile, according to a TDmonthly Magazine survey of 44 specialty retail stores in the United States. CCA & B’s Elf on the Shelf is another hot title, particularly near Christmastime, and Klutz remains successful at promulgating immaturity.

On the classics front, "Curious George" from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" from Penguin Group are also doing well at independent toy shops. See all 10 best-selling books below.

No manufacturer paid to be included in this article. All products listed were designated by editorial staff without regard to the company's relationship with TOYDIRECTORY.com/TDmonthly Magazine.




MSRP: $12.99
Age Range: 4 to 7
Launch Date: March 2009
Gender: Girls
Category: Books



In this 32-page hardcover, Fancy Nancy and her Explorers' Club, which includes friend Bree, take a rather fancy look at the outdoors. They explore butterflies, flowers, trees, birds and more. The book is written by Jane O'Conner and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. Launch date: March 31, 2009.
— Five of 44 specialty retailers referenced the "Fancy Nancy" series when discussing best-selling books in late 2009.
— In a December 2011 survey about books, 3 out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that Fancy Nancy books were their best sellers. Maryalice Miner, co-owner of Miner's Doll & Toy Store in Ocean Springs, Miss., told TDmonthly that, "The Fancy Nancy books have been really big." They sell a half dozen copies or more each month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26283      (added 12/7/2009)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $29.95
Age Range: 3 and up
Launch Date: September 2005
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Dolls
Books
Gifts



This set includes an 8" vintage-style pixie elf, a keepsake storage box and a children's picture book with a rhyming story that tells how the elf helps Santa out by watching children's behavior by day and reporting it to Santa at night. The elf is designed to be placed throughout the house during the Christmas season, creating a hide-and-seek activity for the whole family. Launch date: September 2005.
— “Elf on the Shelf is doing really well since we put those out five or six weeks ago,” remarked Janet Gregory, owner of Over the Rainbow Toys in Anchorage, Alaska, in November 2008. “We just brought them in in November. [We] sold 24 last month, and 24 already this month,” Terry Myers, owner of Kaleidoscope Toys in Round Rock, Texas, told TDmonthly.
— In a December 2011 survey about books, 2 out of 12 retailers named Elf on the Shelf their best-seller. "We sold 18 already, in just a couple weeks," Andrea Scartozzi from Hardware Toy Center in Paoli, Pa., told TDmonthly. William Meredith, owner of Learning Express in Cary, N.C., agreed. "Elf on a Shelf is our number one item. It has been for years!" he told TDmonthly.

Where to Buy: Smart Kids Toys; Kazoo Toys; Escapade Direct

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17594      (added 2/18/2008)
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MSRP: $19.95
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books



This book of goofy ideas and pranks includes a discussion of wedgies as well as instructions on sliding down a banister and how to send someone a toiletgram. It received a National Parenting Publications Honors Award.
— Two of 44 retailers mentioned this title when asked about best-selling books in late 2009. Jeanette Lauture, owner of Aunt Jean's Toys & Treats in Montclair, N.J., told TDmonthly her store sells about four per week of both Volumes 1 and 2.
— "We sell Klutz all day long," said Erika Evers of Dancing Bear Toys in Hendersonville, N.C., citing sales of eight Klutz books per day. "We tend to order different ones every time."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26281      (added 12/7/2009)
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MSRP: $6.95
Age Range: 5 to 8
Launch Date: August 1973
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books



This 48-page paperback written by H.A. Rey tells how little Curious George aids a boy with his paper delivery route and causes quite a bit of trouble. Launch date: August 31, 1973.
— Two of 44 specialty retailers name "Curious George" when asked about best-selling books in late 2009, referencing a trend toward classic titles.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26282      (added 12/7/2009)
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MSRP: $21.99
Age Range: 8 and up
Launch Date: July 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books
Construction
Licensed Products



In true DK Publishing style, the Visual Dictionary is designed to elucidate, illuminate, and excite even the most discerning LEGO, Star Wars, and minifigure fans around the world. Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Yoda, Luke Skywalker and others are brought to life with dozens of little-known facts and hundreds of photos, as are accessories, vehicles, weapons, and even the Death Star. Kids and adults can learn about the history, manufacture and construction of the minifigures of the Star Wars Universe, and come away a Lego Jedi Master. "LEGO and Star Wars are two of the world's most well-recognized and successful franchises, and have been collaborating since the 1998 release of the first LEGO Star Wars minifigures," Jenna Banks, director of sales for EE Distribution, told TDmonthly. Launch date: July 31, 2009.
— "LEGO Star Wars — we just blew out of those," Bill Sartain, co-owner of Tutoring Toy in Salt Lake City, told TDmonthly, citing sales of about 50 of these books a month in late 2009. Two of 44 specialty retailers named this title when discussing best-selling books.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23999      (added 6/3/2009)
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MSRP: $17.95
Age Range: 2 to 8
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books



This hardcover classic written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak follows the imaginative journey of a little boy named Max who is sent to bed without his dinner.
— Two of 44 specialty retailers named "Where the Wild Things Are" when asked about best-selling books in late 2009. Bill Sartain, co-owner of Tutoring Toy in Salt Lake City, cited sales of about 24 per month.
— Maryalice Miner, co-owner of Miner's Doll & Toy Store in Ocean Springs, Miss., told TDmonthly in a December 2011 survey that this book, along with other evergreen titles, sell well year round.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26272      (added 12/7/2009)
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MSRP: $9.95
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books
Infant & Toddler



Part of the "Good Night Our World" series for babies and young children, this 6" x 6" board book explores the sights of Atlanta, Ga., including the zoo, Georgia peaches, Piedmont Park, the Atlanta History Center and much more. The 32-page book has rounded corners. It is written by Adam Gamble and illustrated by Joe Veno.
— Two of 44 specialty retailers mentioned titles from this series when discussing with TDmonthly best-selling books in late 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26277      (added 12/7/2009)
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MSRP: $16.99
Age Range: 3 to 5
Launch Date: March 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books



This 40-page hardcover tells the story of how Llama is frightened going to his first day of preschool, and wonders if Mama Llama will come back. The other kids, though, show Llama that school can be fun. Launch date: March 19, 2009.
— "What is doing well is the 'Llama Llama' books by Anna Dewdney," Rebecca Goblish, co-owner of Picayune Toys in Dunwoody, Ga., told TDmonthly when discussing best-selling titles in late 2009. She added that her store sells about a dozen "Llama Llama" books per month, with a plush llama
— Two of 44 specialty retailers commented on the popularity of this book series in fall 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26278      (added 12/7/2009)
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MSRP: $21.99
Age Range: 1 to 6
Launch Date: October 1981
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books



This 32-page hardcover tells the classic story of the caterpillar who eats, eats and eats, and then transforms into a lovely butterfly. Launch date: October 15, 1981.
— Two of 44 specialty retailers named this as one of their best-selling books in late 2009.
— As of 8.12.10, this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 17 reviews on ToysRUs.com and was listed No. 21 in best-selling toys and games. PROS: Engaging, interactive and easy for children to understand.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26279      (added 12/7/2009)
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MSRP: $17.99
Age Range: 5 to 8
Launch Date: May 2006
Gender: Girls
Category: Books



This book full of all things pink focuses on a girl who turn pink herself after eating too many cupcakes! It also teaches that it's best just to be yourself. Launch date: May 23, 2006.
— Two of 44 specialty retailers referenced the Pinkalicious series when discussing best-selling books in late 2009. "Those are good ones," Kristen Pollard of Mud Puddle Toys in Marblehead, Mass., told TDmonthly.
— In a December 2011 survey about books, three out of 12 retailers said Pinkalicious was one of their best selling titles.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26280      (added 12/7/2009)
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Julie L. JonesWriter's Bio: Julie L. Jones has written articles for both newspapers and magazines. Before joining the staff of TDmonthly Magazine, she worked as a communications writer and provided editorial support for a market research company. Read more articles by this author

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