We are happy to announce the 2018 CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards for Early Literacy!
The five winning books consist of one title in each of five categories selected from
a shortlist of 25 titles. Each category represents 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 these five early literacy practices. Research has
shown that engaging children in these practices builds language skills and prepares
children to become successful readers.
Please visit the 2018 CLEL Bell Winners page to view and download activity sheets with
bibliographic information, an annotation, and ideas for extending each winning book
The 2018 Bell Award Winners
READ: The Library Book
by Tom Chapin and Michael Mark, illustrated by Chuck Goenink
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2017 ISBN 13: 978-1481460927
A rainy day entices a girl to the library. Sitting in her favorite chair she is soon
surrounded by her literary friends including Winnie the Pooh, Madeline, Pinnocchio and
more. After a fun visit to the library, she checks out her favorite book to take home and
read. This book models a child’s love of reading and how it can be enhanced by a trip
to the library.
WRITE: Little Plane Learns to Write by Stephen Savage
Roaring Brook Press, 2017 ISBN-13: 978-1626724365
Little Plane loves flight school where he and the other planes are learning to write in the
sky. His arcs and dives are excellent, but he can’t seem to get the hang of loopity-loops.
Finally, tracing the round shape of the moon inspires Little Plane to write the perfect
loopity-loops. Drawing circles, arcs, and lines helps children learn to form letters.
SING: Motor Goose by Rebecca Colby, illustrated by Jef Kaminsky
Feiwel and Friends, 2017 ISBN 13: 978-1250101938
Motor Goose is a compilation of classic nursery rhymes that have been rewritten with a
transportation theme. Each page is a song centered on a different vehicle but set to
familiar tunes such as Mary Had a Little Lamb and Itsy Bitsy Spider. This book models
the importance of singing with children, whether it be classic nursery rhymes or modern
TALK: Say Zoop! by Herve Tullet
Chronicle Books, 2017 ISBN-13: 978-1452164731
Say Zoop! encourages children and caregivers to interact with the pages of the book by
landing their fingers on different colored dots and making sounds that the book
describes for each dot. Making silly noises helps children practice the different sounds
in words which will help them in acquiring language.
PLAY: Things to Do with Dad by Sam Zuppardi
Candlewick, 2017 ISBN 13: 978-0763681463
A boy and his dad start the day making pancakes together, but dad’s looming to-do list
puts a damper on their shared fun. The boy alters the list, inventing imaginative ways he
and his dad can complete the chores together. This book models a variety of ways that
adults and kids can playfully interact to accomplish daily to-dos.