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Growing Readers

Recommended children's books and reading activities to foster early literacy at home.

Reading with your child may be one of the most meaningful and memorable ways to spend time imagining and learning together at home. Growing Readers emphasizes the importance of reading aloud to children and cultivating a love of great books. These parent resources and book reviews help you select the best books for your child, at each age and stage. Reading excellent children’s books together can strengthen your child's educational development. Discussing themes in the book are also wonderful ways to explore new concepts or guide your child through life's experiences.

Growing Readers Review (Volume 13, Issue 4)
Children’s Book Reviews by Early Education Experts
Children's Books for Girls | Empowerment

Girl Power: Children's Books of Adventure & Courage

Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors? is the story of Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman in the United States to become a physician. Chances are the five- to eight-year-olds who read this inspiring biography will have seen just as many female physicians in their young lives as male physicians. It may be hard for them to imagine a time when society put strong limits on what women could accomplish.

Most children also would not remember a time when finding female heroes in literature for any age was rare. Today, children's literature presents an introduction to a world of possibilities for young girls and boys. Heroes come in all sizes, shapes, and genders. And the books can be biographical, informational, or just good fiction.

This issue of Growing Readers Review features books about empowered girls and young women who can become all they want to be.

Read on for our book recommendations.

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Growing Readers Review (Volume 13, Issue 3)
Children’s Book Reviews by Early Education Experts
Helping Kids Learn Using Books

Children's Books that Teach

Most people don’t associate the word curriculum with very young children or child care, but with children learning at their most rapid rate in the early years, a major opportunity lies in a well thought out early childhood curriculum. At Bright Horizons®, our curriculum, The World at Their Fingertips®, provides intentional teaching and rich experiences that build upon children’s individual strengths and talents to help them achieve success in school and in life.

All the books in this issue of Growing Readers Review relate to areas of the World curriculum. In addition, they are books that children, families, and teachers can learn, grow, and enjoy together.

Read on for our book recommendations.

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Growing Readers Review
Children’s Book Reviews by Early Education Experts
Funny Children's Books

Laughter is the Best Medicine - Even for Tots!

What makes your child laugh? Is it raspberries on the tummy of your infant? Your toddler dressing up in grown-up clothes? A stream of knock-knock jokes from your preschooler? Or sophisticated puns from your school-ager?

According to the blog Ageing Healthily, Happily & Youthfully, “the average four-year-old laughs 300 times a day and for the average 40-year-old it might be four times.” Why is the world of childhood such a funny place?

Read on for our book recommendations.

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Growing Readers Review
Children’s Book Reviews by Early Education Experts
Gardening Books for Children

Gardening Books for Children

Imagine involving your children in something that would include science, math, outdoor play, and physical activity. And what if that activity also promoted a healthy lifestyle, taught respect for the earth, and was both exciting and fun?

There really is an activity that can do all that and more - and it’s called gardening. Whether you start with seeds in cups near a sunny window, pots outside your door, or an available plot of land, your whole family can participate in something that is sure to engender a sense of wonder in children of any age. Gardening books abound for every age group.

Read on for our book recommendations.

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Growing Readers Review
Children’s Book Reviews by Early Education Experts
History Books for Preschool Children

History Books for Preschool Children

Sometime in the preschool years, children begin to understand that they have a past. They can look at pictures of themselves from an early age and comprehend that's how they once looked. "I was a baby, but now I'm big," is a phrase you'll hear a young child repeat.

As their sense of time and place develops, they realize that daddy and mommy were also young at one time and they begin to appreciate the stories told by grandparents about their young lives. As children mature, their perspective on the world develops as well. Not only do they have a personal history, but so do their family, their town, and their country. And other children may have a history that is different from their own.

Read on for our book recommendations.

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Growing Readers Review
Children’s Book Reviews by Early Education Experts
Math and Science Books for Young Children

Math & Science Books for Young Readers

When do children begin to explore the important topics of science and mathematics? We may have an image of children in elementary school, but perhaps the path of curiosity, exploration, and discovery begins when an infant experiences the taste and texture of an object she puts in her mouth. Along the way, a toddler goes beyond rote counting and learns the actual meaning of the number two. And a preschooler watches day by day as a seed placed in a cup of dirt becomes a plant with tomato blossoms.

Young children are inquisitive, filled with questions about the world around them. Math and science books for children can both answer questions and stimulate growing interests.

Read on for our book recommendations.

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Growing Readers Review
Children’s Book Reviews by Early Education Experts
Inspirational Books for Young Readers

Reading is Moving - Children's Books Encouraging Fitness

As adults, we've all been moved by a good book, a great story or beautiful poetry or engaging information that speaks to us. Of course, the same thing happens with children.

Witness the youngster who wants the same book read over and over. Something in words or pictures is appealing and - at least for the moment - no other book will do. These kinds of experiences will cultivate life-long readers.

Some books can not only be moving, but can lead children to movement. The right stories and pictures can capitalize on young children’s natural inclination to be in motion. 

Read on for our book recommendations.

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Growing Readers Review
Children’s Book Reviews by Early Education Experts
Teaching Compassion to Kids through Reading

Teach Compassion through Reading

When do children begin to consider the feelings of others? When do they know what it means to help a friend? When does impulse give way to thoughtfulness? How do parents and teachers help youngsters learn about kindness and compassion?

Children model their own behavior on the behavior they see. Even very young toddlers can care for a pet, act gently with a younger sibling, perhaps part with a toy for a child who needs it more. Children model their language on the words they hear. They learn the words to express kindness and resolve conflicts. Respect for fellow human beings and character development begin at an early age. And children learn how to care for others from the books they enjoy.

Read on for our book recommendations.

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Growing Readers Review
Children’s Book Reviews by Early Education Experts
Our Favorite Children's Books

Our Favorite Books for Children

What makes a book a favorite? What makes us return to it again and again? What kind of book inspires fond memories?

Even the youngest children show strong preferences for their favorite book. Witness a toddler reaching for the same chunky board book or a preschooler asking for the same bedtime story each night. Perhaps the draw is an engaging story, intriguing illustrations, or the way the words sound when read aloud.

Giving children a wide array of well-written and well-illustrated books will allow them to develop their own tastes and learn the enjoyment of reading.

Read on for our book recommendations.

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Growing Readers Review
Children’s Book Reviews by Early Education Experts
Stories from Around the World

Stories from around the World

Young children make daily progress through the developmental stages. We can watch them learn to sit, to walk, to speak, to add, to read, and to ride a bicycle. But what else is happening as these young minds and bodies are developing? When does a child learn to appreciate differences among friends, to feel compassion for those less fortunate, to conserve the earth's resources? 

These are big lessons even for adults, but the education of a caring human being begins in the very early years. And a body of wonderful children’s literature supports and motivates this learning.

Read on for our book recommendations.

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Girl Power: Children's Books of Adventure, Courage & Creativity
Books of Excellence winners are reviewed and recommended by our early childhood educators as the best in children’s books and literature. We invite you to shop our Amazon book store where a portion of every sale supports the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, an organization helping to make a difference in the lives of homeless children and families.
Extra Yarn Children's Book
Extra Yarn
Preschool

This uniquely illustrated book follows young Annabelle as she discovers a small box filled with colorful yarn. She knits a simple sweater for herself and soon learns an important lesson about giving. Annabelle quickly transforms her entire town from cold and ordinary to - well, you will have to read it to find out.

I Can Do It Myself Children's Book
I Can Do It Myself!
Infant

This board book tells of a young girl, proud of her new accomplishments and growing independence. The main character discovers that she can choose her own clothes, blow her nose, ride a bike, and more. Energetic text and retro-fresh illustrations celebrate this important developmental stage with charm and relevance.

Amelia Lost Children's Book
Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart
School Age

Amelia Earhart encouraged women to take chances and seize their dreams. "Study whatever you want," she counseled us girls. "Don’t let the world push you around." Her story, told as an inspirational account of her life, serves as more than just a historic description of a female pilot, but also as a rousing portrayal of a bold and courageous person.

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