Happy Birthday to Brightly

by Amanda Close & Christine McNamara

Image credit: Andrey_Kuzmin, Shutterstock

It’s remarkable to us that Brightly is already one year old! We’re proud of our new baby — and running this program really is like early parenthood. By the time you’re wiping cake off of a toddler’s face, the memories of the day you first brought this tiny person home already seem distant. It’s this way for us and Brightly: We still can’t believe how much we’ve grown in just one short year.

Over the past twelve months, we’ve published hundreds of articles — book recommendations, author interviews, craft ideas, gift guides, and moving personal essays about parenthood and reading. We’ve made improvements based on your feedback, like creating content that you’ve requested based on your interests, upgrading our web site, and enhancing our newsletter. Most important, we’ve come together as an inspiring community of book-lovers nearly half a million strong. We’re thrilled that moms, dads, grandparents, friends, educators, librarians, and so many others are turning to Brightly for book recommendations, activities, and inspiration. “I am a lover of all things books and writing, and now that I have two young boys of my own, I am doing everything I can to ensure that I am raising readers,” writes one Brightly enthusiast. “Your site is, in my world, what dreams are made of.”

This is exactly what we’d hoped for when we embarked on this adventure a year ago: to be a helpful, trusted resource for grown-ups who appreciate the unique — and uniquely special — bonds that are formed with our children over the pages of a good book. We know we still have a lot to do, and we have exciting plans for the coming year: more insightful articles, more special author content, and lots more fun! For now, though, we’re so grateful to you for being part of Brightly, and for sharing this incredible experience with one another and with us. We’re looking forward to celebrating many more milestones with you in the months and years ahead.

Now make a wish and help us blow out the candles. It’s cake time!

Christine and Amanda

A&C Birthday Cake_2