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Growing Readers

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 emphasises the importance of reading aloud to children and cultivating a love of great books.

Our Books of Excellence feature is unique. Here's why!

Spring 2017
Spring - Families
Spring time welcomes in new growth as we observe with awe and wonder delicate snowdrops, vivid crocuses in full bloom and the beauty of golden daffodils. Spring too is a time to celebrate the care and nurturing that parents provide for their young be it a we
nudging her lamb to suckle, a mother hen watching carefully as her fluffy chicks explore the world, a blackbird foraging for food for his young or a celebration of mothers on Mothering Sunday.
Winter Edition 2016
Winter - Light
As the nights are drawing in and 2016 is coming to an exciting end, we are celebrating the theme of light in our last edition of the year.
Spring Edition 2016
Spring Time – Celebrating the Great Outdoors
Welcome to the Spring 2016 edition of our Growing Readers Newsletter.

With warmer weather fast approaching we look forward to hearing about all the outdoor adventures our children and families get up to. Our latest Books of Excellence have been chosen by our Bradmore Road and Mansion House nurseries, around the theme of the great outdoors.
Growing Readers Review (Spring Issue, 2015)
New Beginnings: Books of Excellence
Welcome to the Spring edition of our Growing Readers Review. Spring is traditionally a time when we think about new life and new growth. With this in mind our latest Books of Excellence have been chosen by Stepping Stones Nursery and Churchfield House Nursery, around the theme of new beginnings and new experiences.

Spring is the time for planting seeds. One of our favourite springtime books is Little Seeds by Charles Ghigna. You could grow your own mini jungle at home.
Simply put some damp kitchen roll in the bottom of a tray, sprinkle on some grass or cress seeds, place in a sunny spot and keep moist.
Growing Readers Review (Spring, 2015)
Special Edition: Growing Readers
The Mirror comprises two books in one. Opening the cover you will find two stories designed to be read simultaneously – one from the left, the other from the right. The wonderful illustrations in this wordless book reveal the stories of two families and their parallel, yet connected, lives. One in Australia and the other in Morocco. As you open the book with your child take time to explore how it is made and put together. How do the pages turn?
How is this different from other books you enjoy together? Some cultures read from left to right, others from right to left. The Mirror supports both conventions.
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Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Written By: Annie Kubler

A sign and singalong book. A group of confident toddlers in a lovely array of comfy pyjamas demonstrate the familiar nursery rhyme, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, through simple sign language. Watch out for the little mice slippers!

Show Me A Shadow
Written By: Hee Jeong, Grace Bowman and Hye Won Yeon

Shadows shaped like wicked wolves and ginormous dinosaurs; shadows which peek and creep, turn bumpy and waver; copycat shadows; shadows which get lost! Originally published in Korea, this clever early science book uncovers the mysteries of light and dark as Bessie and her dad become “shadow experimenters”. Loved by our early years reviewers for its activity ideas. Hand over the torch!

Little Green Drum
Written By: Taghreed Najjar

“Wake up, wake up, sleepyheads!” Samia’s dad, Yaba, has the biggest job in town: he is the Dawn Waker-Upper during the month of Ramadan. But this Ramadan, Yaba is struck down by a tummy bug and his daughter, Samia, needs to take on his mantle. Armed with a drum, Barkie the yappy pup and a lovely bright lamp, Samia happily takes to her new role….and is soon joined by Ahmad, Ada, Arya, Omar, Adnana…and a tambourine, flute, lute, saucepans and spoons! Based on a real story from Lifta, a 1930s Palestinian village.

The Great Big Book of Families
Written By: Mary Hoffman & Ros Asquith
A glorious, non-fiction, celebration of contemporary family life which includes every sort of family structure. Ideal for reading out in little chunks for discussion. Children will learn all about the different sorts of holidays families go on, what festivals they celebrate, how they get to work/school and where they live. Effortlessly diverse, always upbeat and great for making every child and every parent feel valued.

Heather Has Two Mummies
Written By: Lesléa Newman and Laura Cornell
Follow Heather as she starts at big school and discovers the joys of nap time, circle time and draw-your-family time! A happy, vibrant book which celebrates families in all their myriad shapes and sizes.

I Took The Moon For A Walk
Written By: Carolyn Curtis and Alison Jay

Lilting rhythms and rhymes; images like gently cracked porcelain. A torchcarrying child walks through a rural landscape full of nocturnal creatures… and with a playful, floating moon in tow.

Kangaroo Kisses
Written By: Nandana Dev Sen and Pippa Curnick
Mum says it’s time for bed. Which means bathtime, putting-onpyjamas time, teeth brushing time, hair brushing time… But this child is far too busy kissing kangaroos, snuggling wild whales and cuddling hippos. A lulling, rhyming bedtime story introducing lots of large beasties and full of all those familiar bedtime-delaying tactics! A soothing and comforting read.

Lulu Loves Flowers
Written By: Anna McQuinn & Rosalind Beardshaw
Lulu is a firm favourite at Bright Horizons and has been a Growing Readers Book of Excellence many times. Great storyline linking to outdoor play, poems, rhymes, reading, healthy eating, creativity and sharing. Delightful illustrations and a proper story. Helpful online extension resources include Lulu’s cupcake recipe and instructions for making a Mary Mary doll.

Oliver's Vegetables
Written By: Vivian French

An engaging story line helping children discover the wonderful world of vegetables. A great spring board for extending learning by growing vegetables.

Tell Me a Tattoo Story
Written By: Alison McGhee and Eliza Wheeler
Dad patiently explains the significance and history of each of his tattoos to his curious son. A portrayal of a lovely father/child bond or, as the book’s own description says, “An ode to all that’s indelible- ink and love”.

Too Many Tickles
Written By: Thomas Taylor and Penny Dann

A house full of tickles, from Mum’s early morning ‘swirly-whirly-round-the-tummy-button tickles’ to Dad’s big-hands-under-the-arm-side-grabbers’ to Gran’s knee tickles and Grandpa’s wormy tickles. A boisterous happy home where all the adults make for proactively tickly parents!

Written By: Lizi Boyd

A wordless book with die cut holes. Captures one magical night in which a child has free rein to explore a forest by night with just a flashlight. Against a black and white backdrop, the torch’s beam shines full colour on to all sorts of exciting nocturnal animals.

The Lost Stars
Written By: Hannah Cumming

A smart little environmental story. Every night, the stars get very busy in the night time sky. But with their air polluting smog and their incessant lighting up devices, the people on earth don’t even notice. Fed up with being ignored, the stars put on their board shorts, packs their cases and go off on holiday. Will anyone notice now?

After reading The Lost Stars at Englefield Green Nursery and Preschool, the children suggested they should look for the stars. The staff hid stars around the preschool and the children used torches to find them.

Ramadan Moon
Written By: Na’ima B Robert & Shirin Adl

Dedicated to her “moon-gazing sons”, Na’ima’s joyful celebration of Ramadan (and Eid) is centred on the journey of the special Ramadan Moon which features on every page, as it transforms from a tiny sliver to a full circle. Celebrates the diversity of Muslims across the globe.

Staff member Samina at our Jack Straws Lane nursery says “This book really demonstrates a true reflection of my faith.”

Babies Don’t Walk They Ride!
Written By: Kathy Henderson and Lauren Tobia
A rhyming celebration of toddler transportation which very much leaves the cars at home! A fantastic journey through a local urban neighbourhood, speeding across parks and allotments. Great for introducing some first movement words; also offers some playful word extensions. 

The Boy who lost his Bumble
Written By: Trudi Esberger

The boy in this debut picture book is fascinated by the bees in his garden, and is puzzled and saddened when they disappear one rainy day. What can have caused them to leave, and is there anything he can do to get his bumble back? Nothing he tries is successful, but things start to look a little brighter with the arrival of Spring. A gentle, quirky introduction to the cycles of nature, with an important and highly topical message about the value of bees to our world.

Leave Me Alone
Written By: Kes Gray

A young boy struggles to stand up to a bully until his friends show him that 8 loud voices are stronger than one! Brilliantly told through sensational illustrations and rhyming text.

Little Seeds
Written By: Carol Thompson

A joyful group of toddlers welcome in the sun, enjoy a fun day full of rays and then, finally, wave the sun goodbye! Sparse, rhyming and rhythmic text; casually inclusive disability images.

Lulu Reads to Zeki
Written By: Anna McQuinn and Rosalind Beardshaw

All the mayhem, comfort, fun- and NOISE created by a new sibling, as experienced by our favourite pint-sized, book-loving character, Lulu.(Mum & dad share every baby 'job' in this loving family).

Written By: Jeannie Baker

Two cultures, two stories. This ingeniously designed, wordless book reveals two children's stories simultaneously and their parallel, yet connected, lives in Morocco and Australia. Stunning portrayal of our global family

On Sudden Hill
Written By: Linda Sarah and Benji Davies
A familiar childhood scenario: what do best friends do when a third child comes on the scene? A wonderful tribute to the great outdoor’s natural playgrounds, imaginative play and…friendship! 

Splash, Anna Hibiscus!
Written By: Atinuke and Lauren Tobia
Anna takes to the seaside with her extended family- but for a while, only Anna seems to understand the excitement of splashing waves. Will anyone else join in? 

Sun - Whatever the Weather
Written By: Carol Thompson

Let’s play out in the sun! There’s a wealth of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures to discover and enjoy! In this series of richly illustrated books, Carol Thompson celebrates the immediate and sensory response of children to the natural world – whatever the weather!

The Promise
Written By: Nicola Davies and Laura Carlin
A clever ‘older’ picture book. A modern fable about redemption and how one person’s transformation brings about the transformation of a grey urban environment into something much more beautiful. Explores our relationship with nature and offers a vision of a new harmony. Shortlisted for the Little Rebels Award 2014. 

Toffee and Pie
Written By: Pippa Goodhart

John's Traveller family have moved again- which means a new school and new friends. But with a horse like Pie in tow, John gets on just fine. 'Really positive portrayal of life as a Traveller' 

Whatever the Weather: Wind!
Written By: Carol Thompson
A lively band of toddlers relish the wind!... showing all of their immediate sensory responses. Minimal rhythmic words and lots of wind sounds to shout out with the children. 

The Wild Weather Book
Written By: Fiona Danks and Jo Schofield

When it’s wet, or windy or cold, there’s no need to stay cooped up indoors; it’s a great opportunity to rush outside for some fun. There are loads of exciting and creative things you can do in the natural world when the weather’s wild. So don’t wait for the sun: take this book with you and go outdoors for a wild weather adventure!