2022 CLEL Bell Award Winners!

The CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards are an annual recognition of five high-quality picture books that provide excellent support of early literacy skills for young children in each of five categories: read, write, sing, talk, and play. Eligible books were published or distributed in the United States between November 16, 2020 and November 15, 2021. …

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Fred Gets Dressed

by Peter Brown (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) Published May 4, 2021 When Fred’s adults discover him dressed in his mother’s clothes, the whole family takes part in a dress-up session. This is a great example of adults following the child’s lead in play, as well as embracing nontraditional gender expression.

Pillow Places

by Joseph Kuefler (Balzer + Bray) Published June 8, 2021 Two friends spend their sleepover discovering all the things a pillow can do and be. They play until they can’t anymore and forge a bond stronger than a pillow fort.


by Helen Yoon (Candlewick Press) Published October 26, 2021 A child enters her father’s office to investigate and turns her curiosity into a full play session. When she realizes she should leave before it gets worse, she is in for a hilarious surprise.

Line and Scribble

by Debora Vogrig, illustrated by Pia Valentinis, translated by Debbie Bibo (Chronicle Books) Published May 11, 2021 ​ Different types of lines, scribbles and drawings encourage the reader to use their imagination. This books is great for making the connection between drawing and writing

Arlo Draws an Octopus

by Lori Mortensen, illustrated by Rob Sayegh Jr. (Harry N. Abrams) Published May 4, 2021 The follows Arlo as he works through his frustration at not being able to draw an octopus. He discovers that even though his drawings don’t meet his expectations, they are enjoyed by others.