Growing Readers Review: Children's Books that Teach

Teacher reading a book to an infant

According to The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, curriculum is defined as the courses offered by an educational institution. 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.

Science for infants? Absolutely, and we call it Science Rocks. Even the youngest children are natural
explorers, discovering the world that is separate from themselves and how it works. Before they have the words to describe their experience, they can sort shapes, feel the difference between hot and cold, and understand the concept of object permanence through a game of peek-a-boo. Independence is the keystone of growth as toddlers develop a sense of self.

With the curriculum component Our World, these youngsters begin to understand emotions and behaviors as they play together, share, and learn about empathy for their little friends. With Math Counts, preschoolers discover sorting, time, measurement and something deeper than rote numbers. While toddlers can often count from one to a high number, preschoolers know the meaning of those numbers and can give you three balls or nine napkins.

Through these curriculum elements, plus ArtSmart, Language Works, and Well Aware, The World at Their Fingertips curriculum acknowledges the developmental readiness and interests of each child. Children’s literature plays a big role in conveying knowledge and setting up youngsters to be life-long readers.

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.

By Susan C. Brenner, EdD.


Sky Color, Written and Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds, Preschool: What color is the sky? What may seem like a simple question sets the basis for this beautiful story about finding the inner artist in all of us.

Everyone Eats, Written and Illustrated by Julia Kuo, Infant & Toddler: This simple but beautifully illustrated board book is a straightforward guide to healthy eating cleverly disguised as an easy-to-read-and-repeat book.

Forget-Me-Nots: Poems to Learn by Heart, Selected by Mary Ann Hoberman and Illustrated by Michael Emberley, School Age: Hoberman’s collection of poems are so engaging, children will be motivated to learn them by heart and make them a permanent part of their ongoing experience with language.


Do You Have a Tail?, Written and Illustrated by Simms Taback, Infant and Toddler

Moomin's Little Book of Words, Written and Illustrated by Tove Jansson, Infant and Toddler

Montessori: Number Work, Written and Illustrated by Bobby and June George, Preschool

Animal 1 2 3, Written and Illustrated by Britta Teckentrup, Toddler and Preschool

Green, Written and Illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, Preschool

Just Ducks, Written by Nicola Davies, Illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino, Preschool

The Beetle Book, Written and Illustrated by Steve Jenkins, School Age

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Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
Teacher reading a book to an infant