All Ages

A Year of Meaningful Reads: Brightly’s Monthly Themes

by the Brightly Editors

At Brightly, we’re kicking 2020 off on a positive note! Nothing brings families together quite like story time, so this year Brightly is encouraging parents and young readers alike to dive into books surrounding a particular theme each month. We’ll reveal our latest theme and a list of curated book recommendations for each age & stage at the beginning of every month — so there’s no shortage of great reads for you to share with the kids in your life all year long. Be sure to update your preferences so you never miss an email!


  • A child’s imagination is open to so many possibilities. From playing make-believe to storytelling, they’re always creating something far beyond our wildest dreams. As parents and caregivers, it’s important to encourage that ingenuity — and books can help! From classic tales like The Wizard of Oz to the story of telekinetic Matilda, there are few places the imagination can grow more than within the pages of a brilliant story. Join Brightly as we celebrate imagination all month long with these whimsical books that’ll inspire the children and teens in your life.

  • Books on Imagination for Ages 0-2

    While babies and young toddlers aren’t yet developmentally able to dive deeply into imaginary worlds themselves, books are the perfect gateway to begin exposing them to imaginative ideas. These beautiful board books introduce the wondrous magic of imagination to the youngest of readers.

  • Books on Imagination for Ages 3-5

    Creativity and imagination are an enormous part of what makes childhood so magical. If you’re looking to get your kids’ imaginations going and spark their creative sides, these books provide perfect jumping off points.

  • Books on Imagination for Ages 6-8

    Spark your child’s imagination with these books about creative characters (and real people) that show the many possibilities of a rich, active imagination.

  • Books on Imagination for Ages 9-12

    More often than not, the dreamy, creative thinking that was so fun when they were younger becomes something they’re unsure about. But the world needs writers and artists, thinkers and inventors. These books will help ignite their creativity and show tweens that there’s nothing quite like a little imagination.

  • Books on Imagination for Ages 13+

    Here are young adult books for teens that will pique curiosity, inspire ingenuity, and make them believe in the power of imagination again. In these stories, adherence to the rules of reality is far less important than the universal truths the narratives reveal.

  • February: EQUALITY

  • This month, we’re reading books that champion Equality! When it comes to making the world a more equal place, we still have a long way to go. That’s why it’s meaningful to teach the children in your life about the importance of equality from an early age! From racial to gender equality and beyond, what better way to share this wonderful message than through books? Join Brightly as we read these inclusive stories.

  • Books on Equality for Ages 0-2

    These books are ideal for helping us chart the course toward a more inclusive future by showing young children the importance of equality and beauty in diversity.

  • Books on Equality for Ages 3-5

    Promoting equality at school and home is essential for helping children understand the diverse and inclusive world we live in today. These books for kids ages 3-5 can help.

  • Books on Equality for Ages 6-8

    From stories about voter rights to those about LGBTQIA+ equality, use these books as helping tools to raise children who are understanding and compassionate towards all people, regardless of our differences.

  • Books on Equality for Ages 9-12

    In order for our children to truly care about equality, they need to be able to see inequality in action – in all different forms. These books are an excellent starting point for tweens to dive into the struggles of equality through both fiction and non-fiction.

  • Books on Equality for Ages 13+

    Through the powerful storytelling within these books, readers can begin to imagine how we might arrive at a more equal, more just future.

  • January: KINDNESS

  • Our first theme of the month is Kindness! It can be challenging sometimes to show children examples of this virtue in the real world, but that’s where these books come in. Our recommendations for every age and stage offer both heartwarming stories and helpful tools to teach the children in your life about the importance of kindness.

  • Books About Kindness for Ages 0-2

    While teaching our children concepts like kindness and empathy can be tricky, there are plenty of books that provide those ever-helpful guideposts.

  • Books About Kindness for Ages 3-5

    In addition to being positive role models in the home, it’s also valuable to provide intentional opportunities to teach and practice kindness so children are even better prepared to exercise this virtue in the real world. That’s where these books come in.

  • Books About Kindness for Ages 6-8

    These 10 books provide both a firsthand look at how powerful kindness truly is and a resource for caregivers hoping to teach it to their young ones.

  • Books About Kindness for Ages 9-12

    When kids get to that oh-so-tricky tween age, it can be a little bit harder to teach kindness and empathy. Sharing stories that feature kids their age modeling or encountering kindness is a great way to sneak lessons in there.

  • Books About Kindness for Ages 13+

    Kindness is more or less free — and yet we deny it — both to ourselves and to others. That’s why we need reminders — like these seven books for young adults, which reveal kindness, as well as its compatriots: compassion, care, and hope.