The shortlists for the 2023 CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards for Early Literacy were announced December 6, 2022.

Twenty five books, five each in the categories Read, Write, Sing, Talk and Play, were chosen by the 2023 Selection Committee from eligible titles on the nominations’ lists.

The shortlists are:  


  • A Library by Nikki Giovanni, illustrated by Erin K. Robinson (Versify, September 27, 2022)
  • Bathe the Cat by Alice B. McGinty, illustrated by David Roberts (Chronicle Books, February 8, 2022)
  • Dear Reader: A Love Letter to Libraries by Tiffany Rose (little bee books, February 8, 2022)
  • Everywhere With You by Carlie Sorosiak, illustrated by Devon Holzwarth (Walker Books US, May 24, 2022)
  • The Book That Did Not Want to Be Read by David Sundin (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, March 1, 2022)


  • 123 ZOOM by Chieu Anh Urban (Little Simon, April 19, 2022)
  • Enzo Y Su Arte/Enzo and His Art by Jessica Spanyol (Childs Play Intl Ltd; Bilingual edition, August 31, 2022)
  • Every Dog in the Neighborhood by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Matthew Cordell (Neal Porter Books, June 21, 2022)
  • The Gift by Alain Serge Dzotap, illustrated by Delphine Renon (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, February 15, 2022)
  • Sallie Bee Writes a Thank-You Note by Susan Verde and Courtney Sheinmel, illustrated by Heather Ross (Harry N. Abrams, November 1, 2022)


  • Get Together by Miguel Ordóñez (Rise x Penguin Workshop, December 21, 2021)
  • How to Say Hello to a Worm: A First Guide to Outside by Kari Percival (Rise x Penguin Workshop, February 22, 2022)
  • Miss Rita, Mystery Reader by Sam Donovan & Kristen Wixted, illustrated by Violet Tobacco (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, May 3, 2022)
  • Tell Me a Lion Story by Kara Kramer (Candlewick, May 24, 2022)
  • What’s Your Name? by Bethanie Deeney Murguia (Candlewick, November 8, 2022)


  • Again, Essie? by Jenny Lacika, illustrated by Teresa Martinez (Charlesbridge, May 3, 2022)
  • Animals Move by Jane Whittingham (Pajama Press, March 29, 2022)
  • Baby’s Here! by Jessica Young, illustrated by Geneviever Godbout (Clarion Books, May 31, 2022)
  • Playtime for Restless Rascals by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, September 6, 2022)
  • On a Rainy Day by Sarah LuAnn Perkins (Viking Books for Young Readers, March 29, 2022)


  • Build a House by Rhiannon Giddens, illustrated by Monica Mikai (Candlewick, October 11, 2022)
  • Hush, Little Trucker by Kim Norman, illustrated by Toshiki Nakamura (Harry N. Abrams, February 1, 2022)
  • Song in the City by Daniel Bernstrom, illustrated by Jenin Mohammed (Amistad Books for Young Readers, September 6, 2022)
  • Still This Love Goes On by Buffy Sainte-Marie illustrated by Julie Flett (Greystone Kids, September 27, 2022)
  • Welcome to the Cypher by Khodi Dill, illustrated by Awuradwoa Afful (Annick Press, November 30, 2021)