CLEL Bell Awards 2016!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Denver, Colorado, February 5, 2016—The Colorado Libraries for

Early Literacy announces the winners for the third year of the Bell Picture Book Awards.

The winning titles are:

Sloth Slept On by Frann PrestonGannon


Sloth Slept On, by Frann Preston­Gannon (New York: Sterling Children’s Books, 2015)

A group of children discover an animal sleeping in a tree. They set out to discover what the animal is and where it comes from by reading books, comparing it to other animals, looking at a globe, and telling their own stories about the creature. The various examples of print and reading in Sloth Slept On show the importance of reading not only books, but also signs, newspapers and globes to discover new and important information.

Inside This Book (are three books) by Barney Saltzberg


Inside This Book: (are three books), by Barney Saltzberg (New York: Abrams Appleseed, 2015)

Three siblings create their own books from blank pages their mother stapled together. When the books are complete, they put them all together. Reading skills develop together with writing skills, and this story encourages children at all levels to explore reading, writing, drawing, rhyming, and storytelling.

Hiccupotamus by Steve Smallman

Hiccupotamus, by Steve Smallman, illustrated by Ada Grey, (Wilton, CT: Tiger Tales, 2015)

A small bird quickly learns that the jungle is a musical place. Hiccupotamus shows what wonderful songs can be created from everyday sounds with a little cooperation and imagination. Making music and singing songs together helps small children hear the different sounds that make up words and stimulates mathematical processes in their brains.

I Don't Want to be a Frog by Dev Petty


I Don’t Want to Be a Frog, by Dev Petty, illustrated by Mike Boldt (New York: Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 2015)

A curious frog tells his father that he doesn’t want to be a frog but would rather be the animals he observes and learns about in books. Talking with children helps them learn about the world, understand their experiences, and build comprehension skills. Responding to children’s questions in a patient and loving way creates opportunities for bonding and wires children’s brains for learning.

Tickle Monster by Edouard Manceau


Tickle Monster, by Édouard Manceau (New York: Abrams Appleseed, 2015)

Page by page, children are invited to transform a monster by tickling it and turning each scary piece into everyday objects instead. Tickle Monster offers an irresistible opportunity for a positive reading experience by allowing children to engage directly with the actions of a story. The Bell Awards were created in 2012 to recognize picture books that provide excellent support of early literacy development in young children.

The five winning books consist of one title in each of five categories representing an early

literacy practice: Read, Write, Sing, Talk, and Play. The books, in their content, theme, or

design, support caregivers’ interaction with their children through early literacy practices.

Research has shown that engaging children in these practices builds language skills and

prepares children to become successful readers.

“Every year I am so excited and curious to see the announcement of the Bells,” states Carol

Edwards, SPELL Project Coordinator ­ Supporting Parents in Early Literacy through Libraries. “I

have seen the short lists and have my favorites, but I seldom guess the winners. Any of the

books on the short list are great titles for families to share with their children. It looks like all the

books are winners!”

The five award winners were selected from short lists announced in December 2015. The

winning titles have been released with support materials that describe how each title supports

early literacy development, and with suggestions for ways in which parents, caregivers, and

librarians can extend the reading experience with children, through shared activities appropriate

for home, childcare settings, and library storytime. The shortlists can be accessed and the

information sheets can be downloaded for free at the CLEL website:

To be eligible for the 2016 Bell Awards, a book must have been published for the first time in the

United States between November 16, 2014 and November 15, 2015. Nominations for the 2017

Bell Awards, for books published between November 16, 2015 and November 15, 2016, will

open in spring 2016.

### For more information, visit the CLEL Bell Awards webpages ( or contact

the Selection Committee at

About CLEL

Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy is an advisory group to the Colorado State Library, created

in 2008. CLEL members work to strengthen children’s literacy through library services and

community advocacy.

Recent Posts
Search By Tags