2020 CLEL Bell Awards Winners

February 4, 2020

We are happy to announce the 2020 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: The Book Hog by Greg Pizzoli

The Book Hog thinks he loves everything about books—the way they feel, the way they look—but when he discovers library storytime, he learns there’s something else to love about them: the stories inside. Children build on their everyday experiences with books and gradually become readers, just like the
Book Hog.

WRITE: The Thank You Letter by Jane Cabrera

It’s Grace’s birthday and she is having a party! The next day she enthusiastically gets out her pens and pencils to write thank you letters to all of her guests. This story shows children that they can be writers as well as readers.

TALK: Daniel's Good Day by Micha Archer

While out on a walk, Daniel asks each of his neighbors to describe a good day, and hears a different answer from everyone. Rich conversations allow children to build their understanding of the world around them, which in turn will support comprehension skills while reading.

SING: Red House, Tree House, Itty Bitty Brown Mouse by Jane Godwin, illustrated by Blanca Gómez

Little Mouse sets off on an adventure around the world, inviting readers to find colorful objects: houses, underwater creatures, vehicles, and more. The sing-song rhythm and rhyming text helps children develop their phonological awareness of sounds and syllables.

PLAY: Who Has Wiggle-Waggle Toes? by Vicky Shiefman, illustrated by Francesca Chessa

This book is an active romp showcasing the different parts of the body, including peekaboo hands and out-there elbows. Active play can support vocabulary development, not only of concrete nouns but also of more abstract concepts and verbs.

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