2021 CLEL Bell Awards

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Read Winner: Help Wanted Must Love Books

By Janet Sumner Johnson, lllustrated by Courtney Dawson (Capstone Editions)

Shailey loves bedtime stories. When her dad gets too busy with work to read to her every night, she fires him and attempts to hire a new reader. She interviews familiar fairy tale characters until she finds just the right person for the job.  Reading with adults who give their undivided attention can build a lifelong love of books.

Early literacy activity sheet

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Talk Winner: The Paper Kingdom

By Helena Ku Rhee, Illustrated by Pascal Campion 

(Random House Books for Young Readers)

A beautifully illustrated, own voices story about a young boy who accompanies his parents to their night job as office janitors. To keep the boy entertained, his parents tell him stories of an imaginary Paper Kingdom full of wonder and adventure. By telling our children stories, real or imaginary, we are building their language skills and vocabulary.

Early literacy activity sheet | Watch a book talk

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Write Winner: It's Okay

By Shiow-Miin Tsai (Reycraft Books)

Drawing is fun, but not when you make a mistake. Or is it? Join a child and his mother as they learn how to turn imperfections into art. Scribbles are the first step to a lifetime of drawing and writing!

Early literacy activity sheet

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Sing Winner: Here We Go Digging for Dinosaur Bones

By Susan Lendroth, Illustrated by Bob Kolar (Charlesbridge)

Dinosaur-obsessed little ones will love going through a paleontologist's motions of digging, sifting and cleaning bones. Set to the familiar tune of "Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush," this engaging book will have everyone singing all the way to the dinosaur factoids at the end!  Singing helps children develop vocabulary and increases awareness of the smaller sounds in words.    

Early literacy activity sheet

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Play Winner: My Rainy Day Rocket Ship

By Markette Sheppard, Illustrated by Charly Palmer

(Denene Millner Books/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

It's too rainy outside, so it's time for play inside! A young boy uses his creativity, imagination and help from his parents to make a super rocket ship out of everyday objects.  Play encourages children to build their imaginations, learn empathy and navigate the ups and downs of friendship.

Early literacy activity sheet | Watch a book talk