Supporting Executive Function Through Books

Engaging stories that support children’s attention, working memory, and flexible thinking skills

Illustration from the book I Got Rhythm

I Got The Rhythm

Written by Connie Schofield-Morrison and illustrated by Frank Morrison, this story features a girl who discovers the rhythm throughout her neighborhood. She taps, shakes, and snaps to the rhythms all around her!

Illustration from the book The Curious Garden

The Curious Garden

Written and illustrated by Peter Brown, this is the story of a little boy who cares for a very unique garden over many years.

Illustration from the book Freedom Soup

Freedom Soup

Written by Tami Charles and illustrated by Jacqueline Alcántara, this is the story of a little girl who helps her grandmother make their family’s special soup. As they cook, the grandmother shares the soup’s history in a very vivid and captivating way.

Chimpanzees for Tea

Chimpanzees for Tea

Written and illustrated by Jo Empson, this story is about a boy who goes shopping for his mother. But when he loses the grocery list, Vincent has a hard time remembering what he needs to buy!

Not A Box Cover

Not a Box

Written and illustrated by Antoinette Porter, this book is about a bunny whose imagination and creativity turns a box into everything but a box!


Key Takeaways

Listen and move

Help children grow and sustain their focus by actively involving them in the book reading experience. Use books that encourage children to listen and move in fun, new ways.

Connect and engage

Children will engage more around stories that connect to their interests, lives, and experiences. While reading, comment on passages that highlight connections, and ask children to share their own connections to the story.

Predict and explain

When children are interested in a story, they will likely show increased focus and attention. Prompt children to make predictions about new stories and encourage children to explain their thinking about characters’ actions or events in the stories.