2023 CLEL Bell “PLAY” Nominations pt. 2

Our CLEL Bell Book Award practice committees have been busy! Here are the next nominations in the category of “Play”. This category honors books that encourage children to use their growing vocabularies to think about their world while reflecting on a wide variety of play. Our committee looks for books that model developmentally appropriate play, celebrate playfulness, allow interaction with the book itself, or model open-ended explorations of toys or found materials. These are books published after November 16, 2021 that model or support the practice of playing with young children and babies.

Baby’s Here! – By Jessica Young; Illustrated by Geneviever Godbout – Published May 31, 2022 – Clarion Books

This sweet story walks the reader through different activities to do with baby and gives the reader the opportunity to do them with the book itself. From waving hello to kissing goodnight, every page of this story is gentle and interactive.

Animals Move – By Jane Whittingham – Published March 29, 2022 – Pajama Press

Animals move in so many ways and kids can, too! Learn the names of different baby animals while moving your body along with them.

Me and My Mama – By Carole Boston Weatherford; Illustrated by Ashleigh Corrin– Published April 5, 2022– Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Follow mamas and their toddlers through an action packed day. From sun-up and getting dressed, to lunch and reading in a pillow fort, to sunset and taking a bubble bath, these mama and toddler duos share their love through play!

I Love You All the Time – By Deborah Farmer Kris; Illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin – Published March 15, 2021 – Free Spirit Publishing

This book brings the reader through numerous events in a child’s life — ups and downs — during which various caregivers remind the main character that they are loved all the time.

Playtime for Restless Rascals – By Nikki Grimes; Illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon – Published September 6, 2022 – Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

A mother narrates a child’s day playing — jumping in puddles in the spring, swinging in the summer, throwing leaves in the fall, and making snow angels in the winter. The child plays inside and outside, with dolls and cars, at the park and on the carousel. Finally, the child wins a board game against their father because when it comes to play, this child is an expert.