2019 CLEL Bell Awards Winners

February 5, 2019

We are happy to announce the 2019 CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards for Early Literacy! 

The five winning books consist of one title in each of five categories selected from a shortlist of 25 titles. Each category represents an early literacy practice: Read, Write, Sing, Talk, and Play. The books, in their content, theme, or design, support caregivers’ interaction with their children through these five early literacy practices. Research has shown that engaging children in these practices builds language skills and prepares children to become successful readers.

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: Llama Llama Loves to Read by Anna Dewdney and Reed Duncan; illustrated by JT Morrow

While at school, Llama Llama begins to learn how letters make words, how words become sentences and finally how sentences become books.  After a day of reading, writing, singing and even a trip to the library, Llama Llama shares his new reading skills with Mama as they walk home.  Just like Llama Llama, children must master many individual skills to become good readers. 

WRITE: Can I Be Your Dog by Troy Cummings

Arfy is a dog who lives in a box in an alley. As he explores his neighborhood looking for a new home, Arfy write letters to everyone he meets describing the ways he’d be a great pet. This story models many different styles of writing and how writing is used to communicate with others.

TALK: Grandma's Purse by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

When Grandma Mimi comes to visit her granddaughter, she always brings her magical purse!  As they explore her purse together, the little girl learns about her grandma and what is important to her. Talking together with the adults in their lives helps children build vocabulary and think creatively as they start to understand the world around them.

SING: Kat Writes a Song by Greg Foley

Kat is feeling sad, so she decides to write a song to make herself feel better.  When she sings it, the sun comes out and she wonders if her “Amazing Song to Make Things Better” will work for everyone.  Singing is a great way to introduce children to sound recognition and listening skills.

PLAY: Crash! Boom! A Math Tale by Robie H. Harris, illustrated by Chris Chatterton

A little elephant uses blocks to make a tower as tall as he is.  When his first attempt goes Crash! Boom! he starts to experiment with different strategies to achieve success. This book models a variety of ways that adults and children can play with blocks, building language skills as they create plans, make choices, and talk about cause and effect. 

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