Some of the characters out of the 16 books.

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The Bright Books Literacy Series consists of:

Eleven graded reader/activity books (Grade/Level 1)
Bright Books Teacher’s Guide - Grade 1
My Bright Books Workbook

Four graded reader/activity books (Grade/Level 2)
Bright Books Educator's Guide - Grade 2

Bright Books reader/activity book (Grade/Level 3)
Bright Books Educators Guide - Guide 3

Four Bright Books wall charts:
ISBN 000ES2041A: ABC
ISBN 000ES2042A: Numbers
ISBN 000ES2043A: Animals in their environments
ISBN 000ES2044A: People and places


About the Bright Books Literacy Series:

The Bright Books Literacy Series was conceptualised, written and illustrated by Marjorie van Heerden (see her CV at http://www.marjorie-cv.blogspot.com/). It provides tools for educators to facilitate learners in the development of basic literacy skills during the first three years of schooling (grades 1 to 3) and a unique series of full-colour, illustrated activity-based books for beginner readers.

Marjorie: “I believe that many of South Africa’s children have untapped potential. I believe any healthy child has the potential to become a creative, productive adult if they are provided care, professional guidance, suitable stimulation and good quality resources (most of all, books!) at a very early stage of their education. For this reason I poured my heart into this project, the Bright Books, for the children of South Africa. I have tried to create a literacy series that will give our young children a good, broad grounding.”

The primary objective of the Bright Books is to guide learners along the early steps towards learning to read and write. But the author’s approach is innovative and, although applicable throughout the English-speaking world, the series is tailored for the South African youth. Throughout the books in the series the young reader will learn a tremendous amount about values and life in general, in subtle addition to “school work” like basic maths concepts that form the core of each story. The author has managed to tell the stories in such a manner that the tale and the characters come first, while the lessons are unobtrusive, discreet and learnt through the fun of reading and enjoying the pictures.

These books are intended to provide so much fun that the kids won’t even notice that they are learning to read while they are enjoying the Bright Books.

About the Bright Books for Grade 1:
(Grades 2 & 3 below)


*Eleven full-colour activity-based readers each containing 4-5 stories, lists of Bright words and Bright things to do.

*A Teacher’s Guide with assessment guidelines and critical and specific outcomes alongside a wealth of activities.

*A pupil’s Workbook.

*Four wall charts


The eleven readers form the core of an exciting South African activities-based reading scheme that appeals to all children. The fun characters, familiar surroundings and stimulating activities turn reading into a colourful adventure. The eleven books are vibrant with fun stories and appealing illustrations that encourage visual literacy. The stories and the delightful, humorous illustrations were created by one of the country’s leading children’s writers, Marjorie van Heerden.

The set of Bright Books created for Grade 1 learners form a progressive course, starting with Book 1 (The cat book) all the way through to Book 11 (The chicken book). Each story could be “read” without the words, but each illustration has some words associated with it and those words are also listed at the end of the story. For example, the very first story “A cat in a cap” is followed by 9 “Bright words” (a; cap; in; look; where; and; cat; is; the). The second story “A fat cat” uses the same words and introduces two new ones (fat & fish). Each story is then followed by suggested activities (Bright things to do) which use the same words in fun ways to associate the written word with the object and/or the context it refers to. These are simple introductory steps to reading, taken in such a way that the learner is stimulated and often amused, while constantly developing the basic skills of literacy. Progressively, the eleven books expand the vocabulary or the learner and the complexity of the content. The eleven readers are accompanied by a detailed Teacher’s Guide of 399 pages.

In developing the eleven Grade 1 books, the author first identified and analysed various areas of development in the young child and then wrote a story to address each area. She listed a number of elements in each story suitable for discussions and or practical activities for the learners. Those activities were then formulated by professional educators, listed after each story as Bright things to do and also covered in the Teacher’s Guide.

While the books focus primarily on the development of literacy skills, the subjects chosen for the stories cover a wide range of areas, including counting and basic maths concepts, spatial awareness, (concepts like up, down, in, out, over, under); shapes; opposites; food groups; safety; night and day; naming the body parts; emotions and many more. The stories offer a wealth of delightful illustrations and familiar situations to stimulate and encourage visual literacy and to draw the learner into amusing stories. The situations and characters described and the colourful illustrations are often humorous and this creates an easy, light-hearted learning situation, where the development of reading skills is associated with pleasure. (Marjorie van Heerden regards the development and retention of reading-for-pleasure habits as a fundamental and very important challenge in the new South Africa).

The cat book - Book 1 of 11 (Grade 1)

Author and illustrator: Marjorie van Heerden
Book user: Reader
Category: English Grade 1

SUMMARY: The cat book introduces learners to the many pleasures of literacy. The young learner is drawn irresistibly into the bright and colourful world of the Bright Books characters. Learning to read and discovering life become an exciting adventure. The cat book contains 5 stories: A cat in a cap; A fat cat; An ant; A big box; Where is the fish?, as well as Bright words and Bright things to do.

Bright Books Literacy Series - Grade 1 - Book 1
The cat book
– soft cover (170 x 230mm portrait), 42 pgs
ISBN 0625026713

The snake book - Book 2 of 11 (Grade 1)

Author and illustrator: Marjorie van Heerden
Book user: Reader
Category: English Grade 1

SUMMARY: The snake book brings the learner many new pleasures to be discovered through literacy. Familiar Bright Books characters engage young learners in the exciting adventure of learning to read and learning about their world. The snake book contains 4 stories: A fish in the water; A big snake; Lots of oranges; A hungry dog, as well as Bright words and Bright things to do.

Bright Books Literacy Series - Grade 1 - Book 2
The snake book
– soft cover (170 x 230mm portrait), 40 pgs
ISBN 0625026721

The goat book - Book 3 of 11 (Grade 1)

Author and illustrator: Marjorie van Heerden
Book user: Reader
Category: English Grade 1

SUMMARY: In The goat book learners encounter more of the pleasures of literacy. The young learner continues to explore and enjoy the bright and colourful world of Bright Books characters. The goat book contains 4 stories: The egg in the nest; A cat and a dog; A small goat; Under the umbrella, as well as Bright words and Bright things to do.

Bright Books Literacy Series - Grade 1 - Book 3
The goat book
– soft cover (170 x 230mm portrait), 48 pgs
ISBN 062502673X

The monkey book - Book 4 of 11 (Grade 1)

Author and illustrator: Marjorie van Heerden
Book user: Reader
Category: English Grade 1

SUMMARY: The learner explores the pleasures of a variety of outcomes for. The familiar Bright Books characters guide the learner through concepts such as opposites, shape and appropriate social behaviour to make learning to read and learning about life a fun-filled adventure. The monkey book contains 4 stories: Fig jam; Hot water, cold water; The kite; A monkey, as well as Bright words and Bright things to do.

Bright Books Literacy Series - Grade 1 - Book 4
The monkey book
– soft cover (170 x 230mm portrait), 44 pgs
ISBN 0625026748

The zebra book - Book 5 of 11 (Grade 1)

Author and illustrator: Marjorie van Heerden
Book user: Reader
Category: English Grade 1

SUMMARY: The zebra book combines fantasy with familiarity to allow the learner to explore more of the pleasures of literacy. The familiar right Books characters guide the learner through rural and urban settings to discover more about their world. The zebra book contains 4 stories: A pig and a pumpkin; Zebra crossing; A dark night; A queen on a quiet night, as well as Bright words and Bright things to do.

Bright Books Literacy Series - Grade 1 - Book 5
The zebra book
– soft cover (170 x 230mm portrait), 48 pgs
ISBN 0625026756

The dog book - Book 6 of 11 (Grade 1)

Author and illustrator: Marjorie van Heerden
Book user: Reader
Category: English Grade 1

SUMMARY: In The dog book the learner explores life with the familiar Bright Books characters to discover that many important life skills can be acquired through literacy in an amusing way. The dog book contains 4 stories: Time to tidy; Mamma is home; Fishing with Papa; A dog with a bone, as well as Bright words and Bright things to do.

Bright Books Literacy Series - Grade 1 - Book 6
The dog book
– soft cover (170 x 230mm portrait), 40 pgs
ISBN 0625026764

The mouse book - Book 7 of 11 (Grade 1)

Author and illustrator: Marjorie van Heerden
Book user: Reader
Category: English Grade 1

SUMMARY: Through the Bright Books characters, learners encounter some of the creatures in their world and develop their counting skills in The mouse book. The mouse book contains 4 stories: Is something inside?; Can you add?; Lots of animals; I can be quiet, as well as Bright words and Bright things to do.

Bright Books Literacy Series - Grade 1 - Book 7
The mouse book
– soft cover (170 x 230mm portrait), 54 pgs
ISBN 0625026772