The CLEL Bell Awards

2022 Bell Award Shortlist titles have been chosen! 
For a detailed list, click here.
CLEL Members are encouraged to share your thoughts by completing the survey by January 7.

The 2022 Winners will be announced February 5!

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The CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards are an annual recognition of five high-quality picture books that provide excellent support of early literacy development in young children.
Our Mission

In support of the Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLEL) mission to strengthen children's literacy through library services and community advocacy, the Bell Awards will recognize picture books that provide excellent support of early literacy development in young children, will serve as a collection development, program planning, and early literacy information resource for librarians, educators, and caregivers.  It will also provide recognition to authors, illustrators, and publishers.

When Are the Awards Announced?
How Do We Choose?


The Selection Committee selects five winners annually from titles suggested by CLEL members and other early literacy advocates, including librarians, teachers, parents, and publishers.

The 2022 CLEL Bell Awards Committee is now taking title suggestions. To suggest a title, fill out the Title Suggestion Form.

Only books published or distributed in the United States between November 16, 2020 and November 15, 2021 are eligible for suggestion for the 2022 CLEL Bell Award.


Suggested titles that meet our selection criteria will be posted on our nomination page.


Submissions for the CLEL Bell Picture Book Award will close at 5 pm MST on Friday, November 19, 2021.

A major goal of the CLEL Bell Awards is to promote professional conversation about excellent picture books and to provide creative ideas for sharing titles with children and families in ways that support early literacy development. Your contribution to these conversations is a valuable part of the process. Here are a few ways to participate: