Thursday, October 3, 2013

Bell Awards Blog Tour: Read

I am so excited to be part of a blog tour for the new Bell Awards sponsored by Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy.

Melissa Depper, one of the founders of the award, explains, "The new Bell Awards are designed to support parents, caregivers, librarians, and early childhood professionals by celebrating great picture books that model and inspire the early literacy practices of reading, writing, singing, talking, and playing with young children. You can join in and share your expertise with your colleagues by nominating titles and adding to the conversation on the CLEL blog."

Each stop on the Bell Awards blog tour focuses on one of the five practices that will help a child develop the foundation upon which a reader is built: READ, TALK, SING, WRITE & PLAY.

Today's topic is READ.

Gratuitous photo of my own 5sters reading with my dad

Reading with children helps them get ready to read themselves.

We are not born understanding the logistics of how to operate this thing with a cover and floppy paper inside. It is reading with children that teaches them that turning the pages of a book is a pleasurable experience.

"We know that the more time children spend listening to stories, telling stories, looking at books, talking about books, and being read to, the more successful they become as readers. It’s simple and powerful evidence that it doesn’t take a lot of time, expertise, or money to make a measurable difference in a child’s life."
- from the CLEL Bell Awards Site

Here are 5 books I love to share with the early readers in my life.

1. Open This Little Book
written by Jesse Klausmeier
illustrated by Suzy Lee

The colorful execution of this book inside a book inside a book is so engaging, it will keep young hands wanting to turn the pages over and over again.

2. Moo!
written by David LaRochelle
illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka

Moo! tells the story of an adventurous cow using only one word, "Moo". Young ones will love saying the same word in many different ways to communicate the cow's emotions.

3. Z is for Moose
written by Kelly Bingham
illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky

Part of learning to read involves letter recognition. Z is for Moose focuses on the letters of the alphabet, and also includes a hilarious narrative about an annoying moose ruining a Zebra's plans for a straight forward alphabet book by continuing to insert himself on the page.

4. Hank Finds an Egg
by Rebecca Dudley

Wordless books are fabulous for "picture reading". All of the elements of reading are there, just without any text. Hank Finds an Egg is a very sweet story of a bear who finds an egg and tries everything he can think of to return the egg to its nest.

5. Squish Rabbit
by Katherine Bettersby

There will always be a book (or multiple books) that a child connects with in a special way. A book that they will want to read over and over and over. Young ones need and enjoy repetition of activities to develop, and that includes reading. Repeating familiar favorites can be powerful for a growing pre-reader.

Squish Rabbit was one of those favorite re-read books for my daughter. You can see her at age two and a half in the bottom video picture reading and re-telling the events that happen to the young bunny on each page.

What she is saying:
"thought he was playing...he kicked his little legs"
"big tantrum - argghhhh!"
"they broke all the rules!"
"passed him by!"
Squishing sound for when Squish gets stepped on

Those are some of my favorite books to encourage reading with the pre-reading set. If you have favorites that have been published in 2013, nominate them for the 2014 CLEL Bell Awards.  The deadline for nominations is November 15th and the winners will be announced February 15, 2014.
Click the links below for more information:
Don't miss the other stops on the Bell Awards Blog Tour:

WRITE with Amy at The Show Me Librarian
TALK with Mary Ann at Great Kid Books
SING with Dana and Lindsey at JBrary

and tomorrow: 
PLAY with Anna at Future Librarian Superhero


  1. Thank you Laura for sharing this great post! I love the video of your little one reading Squish--empowering kids to own that role of readers is so critical! Thanks for supporting the Bell Awards!

  2. Wonderful! I adore so many of those books - they are favorite read alouds to share with my preschoolers! Thanks for talking about the Bell Awards!

  3. Thanks for including the videos. They're a lot of fun to watch. And thanks for blogging about the Bell Awards

  4. Read, read, read with children! Thanks for spreading the word about the CLEL Bell awards. What a great way for anybody who loves to read picture books to be involved with celebrating them.