2016 CLEL Bell Awards Winners

Click on the "Early Literacy Activity Sheet" link below each description to download an activity sheet with bibliographic information, an annotation, and ideas for extending the book with children.

READ: Sloth Slept On, by Frann Preston-Gannon

A group of children discover an animal sleeping in a tree. They set out to discover what the animal is and where it comes from by reading books, comparing it to other animals, looking at a globe, and telling their own stories about the creature. The various examples of print and reading in Sloth Slept On show the importance of reading not only books, but also signs, newspapers, and globes to discover new and important information.

WRITE: Inside This Book: (are three books), by Barney Saltzberg

Three siblings create their own books from blank pages their mother stapled together. When the books are complete, they put them all together. Reading skills develop together with writing skills, and this story encourages children at all levels to explore reading, writing, drawing, rhyming, and storytelling.

TALK: I Don't Want to Be a Frog! by Dev Petty, illustrated by Mike Boldt

A curious frog tells his father that he doesn’t want to be a frog but would rather be the animals he observes and learns about in books. Talking with children helps them learn about the world, understand their experiences, and build comprehension skills. Responding to children’s questions in a patient and loving way creates opportunities for bonding and wires children’s brains for learning.

SING: Hiccupotamus, by Steve Smallman, illustrated by Ada Grey

A small bird quickly learns that the jungle is a musical place. Hiccupotamus shows what wonderful songs can be created from everyday sounds with a little cooperation and imagination. Making music and singing songs together helps small children hear the different sounds that make up words and stimulates mathematical processes in their brains.

PLAY: Tickle Monster, by Édouard Manceau

Page by page, children are invited to transform a monster by tickling it and turning each scary piece into everyday objects instead. Tickle Monster offers an irresistible opportunity for a positive reading experience by allowing children to engage directly with the actions of a story.

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