Current PLAY Nominations

The following titles have been nominated for the 2021 CLEL Bell Awards

in the category "PLAY."

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When My Brother Gets Home

by Tom Lichtenheld (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

A young girl dreams about all the fun she will have with her brother when he gets home from school. This book exemplifies imaginative play, from kids going up a slide and imagining it's Mt. Kilimanjaro to swimming and imagining they are in the Olympics.

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My Rainy Day Rocket Ship

by Markette Sheppard, illustrated by Charly Palmer (Denene Millner Books/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

When it's too rainy outside it's time for a bit of creative inside play. Using everyday objects around the house, a rocket ship is built!

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Where's Baby?

by Anne Hunter (Tundra Books)

Where could baby be? Up the tree? Inside? Outside? Where could baby be?

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The Button Book

by Sally Nicholls, illustrated by Bethan Woollvin (Tundra Books)

Have fun discovering with a group of animal friends what happens when different colored buttons are pushed. Will it beep? Will it make you clap? Only one way to find out!

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Dot. Unplugged

by Randi Zuckerberg/Jim Henson Company (Candlewick Entertainment)

What type of fun can Dot get up to on National Unplug Day when it's pouring outside?!

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Mama Baby

by Chris Raschka (Candlewick Press)

Mom and Baby interact with each other by playing simple games together like peek-a-boo.

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Friday Night Wrestlefest

by J.F. Fox, illustrated by Micah Player (Roaring Brook Press)

The entire family competes (plays) together!

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Alphonse, There's Mud On the Ceiling!

by Daisy Hurst (Candlewick Press)

Two siblings use their imaginations to come up with fun games to play in their apartment, but when things get a little too rowdy dad takes them to the park to play outside.

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My Best Friend

by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)

Two young girls enjoy a fun day at the park. Playing on a tire swing, having fun quacking like ducks and pretending to be pickles.

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Can I Play Too?

by Samantha Cotterill (Dial Books for Young Readers)

Two young boys try to build a train track together, but when one boy only wants to do it his way feelings get hurt. An adult helps the child figure out how their playmate might be feeling and they try again.

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Let's Build

by Julie Fenner, illustrated by Zoe Waring (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

This book is very interactive! Children are invited to play with it by shaking, swinging and tilting the book.


by Kim Smith (Clarion Books)

Get building with STEAM concepts, friendship and fun!