In 2023, three decades after Workman first introduced Brain Quest, this curriculum-based, grade-leveled publishing program is further extending its reach with a move into the preschool market. Featuring an in-print total of 56 million copies worldwide, Brain Quest will kick off its 30th-anniversary year with the January 10 debut of the My First Brain Quest line, which starts up with six question-and-answer board books: First Words: Around the Home; First Words: Science Around Us; ABCs; 123s; Colors; and Shapes.

Since a key mission of Brain Quest is to partner with children during their educational journey to keep them motivated, curious, and confident, creating books for the very youngest, up to age four, was “a natural progression,” noted Karen Edwards, Workman’s editorial director of educational resources.

“We laid that groundwork for pre-K through middle school students with our multi-subject workbooks and cards,” Edwards said. “Now, with My First Brain Quest, we are reaching out to the youngest learners with a goal to create a similar relationship that we had created with our school-age readers, to welcome babies and toddlers into the Brain Quest fold. Our unique question-and-answer approach to board books allows us to help children explore pre-math, pre-reading, and science concepts via inquiry-based learning exercises that set a solid foundation for future learning.”

Following in Workman’s Brain Quest tradition, My First Brain Quest titles are written in-house in consultation with an advisory panel of early literacy experts and educators. The art for the books is created by freelance illustrators selected for their individual styles that will visually enhance the specific concept of the text.

A Busy Year Ahead

Workman expects to add two or three additional My First Brain Quest board books to its list annually, and to grow its offerings with titles in other interactive formats.

Scheduled to launch in fall 2023 is My First Brain Quest Learn to Write Notebooks, a line for children ages three to five, dedicated to helping kids master the fundamentals of the writing process. “These are fun activity books that set up the foundation for writing and provide plenty of opportunities to reinforce using a pen and practice writing letters and numbers,” Edwards explained. As with the Brain Quest workbooks for school-age students, Learn to Write Notebooks further encourage skill-building by offering stickers, maps, and certificates celebrating young learners’ progress.

Workman’s 2023 Brain Quest plans also include refreshing and updating its “legacy products,” the grade- and subject-specific “smart card” decks and workbooks that have become synonymous with the brand.

Due next summer are fifth editions of the workbooks that contain more than 30% new content reflecting inclusivity and diversity and encouraging social, emotional, and academic development. Each workbook also features an expanded technology section, additional information and tools to support parents and educators, two decks of question-and-answer cards, and updated progress-tracking stickers and maps.

Edwards noted that My First Brain Quest has received positive early feedback from parents and educators, which she finds “extremely encouraging.” The editor attributes Brain Quest’s longevity and success, in part, to the line’s outreach to parents, teachers, and other caregivers in addition to its focus on teaching children.

“With the new board books’ question-and-answer format, My First Brain Quest brings learning into kids’ lives in an important way by providing parents and caregivers an opportunity to ask about the child’s response to the phonics or math questions,” Edwards said. “Caregivers don’t always know how to extend the learning experience beyond the page, and it can be intimidating for them. Our goal is to support them and to help spark conversations that may not have occurred to them, while supporting children by reinforcing curriculum concepts in a way they can understand—and a way that is fun.”