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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Kicks Off “Curious World” Summer Tour, Inspiring Playful Learning Nationwide

Curious World Tour

BOSTON – Global learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) announced today the launch of a new immersive and playful learning experience, Curious World Tour. Kicking off at Brooklyn Bridge Park on Sunday, June 26, HMH will take Curious World Tour on a nationwide adventure, popping up in eight cities in Texas and California – San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco and Los Angeles – throughout the summer.

In each market, HMH will work with local nonprofit organizations to donate books and resources while engaging families with kids nationwide. Curious World Tour was created in partnership with the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM), lending expertise in out-of-school and summer learning, and the Ultimate Block Party, bringing deep experience in community-based playful learning experiences rooted in science and pedagogy.

“We know that children are born learning and that play and exploration are essential for healthy growth and development. Our goal with Curious World Tour is to bring unique, fun early learning experiences directly to children and families in their communities,” said Linda K. Zecher, President, CEO & Director of HMH. “HMH’s mission is to change lives by fostering passionate, curious learners, and our summer road trip is designed to engage, inspire, and remind us all that learning takes place everywhere.”

The Curious World Tour mobile experience will be powered by a "Little Blue Truck" inspired by the iconic HMH children's books by Alice Schertle and Jill McElmurry. In each destination, the vehicle's trailer will unfold to create a playful learning environment for children and families. Explorers of all ages are invited on a personal journey with beloved HMH characters like Curious George – who celebrates his 75th birthday this year – that will inspire them to ask questions, open their minds, and take a hands-on approach to the world around them through interactive, multi-disciplinary educational activities, including:

  • Curious World HQ: The welcome truck with a giant map featuring videos of children saying “hello” in multiple languages, where adventure leaders will give children the opportunity to plan and document their Curious World Tour journey with a Curiosity Log.
  • Story Camp: A tented library featuring HMH characters and award-winning stories – like Curious George, Gossie and Gertie, and the Five Little Monkeys – inviting kids to relax on tree-trunk stools and open up their imagination for story time.
  • Community Garden: An outdoor space for kids to engage in various food-learning exercises, such as planting their own seeds in a decorated pot that they can take home to water and watch grow.
  • Space Station: An extraterrestrial area expanding kids’ minds, encouraging them to think beyond planet Earth with the opportunity to make alien puppets, build space shuttles and learn about constellations in rocket ship light brites.
  • Jungle Jamboree: A play area with an open stage featuring special appearances by Curious George and others, where kids will learn about sound, rhythm and tunes on an interactive music wall.
  • #SparkAMind Color the World: A collaborative mural to help kids express their artistic side and learn about team work as they color in their favorite HMH characters alongside a local artist. Murals will be donated to education institutions and organizations that serve children and families in each local community.

“We are proud to partner with HMH and share the expertise of children’s museums in creating substantive and fun learning opportunities for families with young children,” said Laura Huerta Migus, executive director of the Association of Children’s Museums. “Curious World Tour is not only bringing HMH’s quality resources for families across the country, but is also making a great statement on the importance of play as the foundation of lifelong learning.”

In each station, young learners will be able to experience for themselves the power of playful learning inside HMH’s new interactive content service, the Curious World App. This ever-growing library of learning videos, books and games for children ages 2-7, as well as inspiration for offline activities and tools for parents to be involved in their child’s learning journey.

Learn more about Curious World Tour here.


About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ:HMHC) is a global learning company dedicated to changing people’s lives by fostering passionate, curious learners. As a leading provider of pre-K–12 education content, services, and cutting-edge technology solutions across a variety of media, HMH enables learning in a changing landscape. HMH is uniquely positioned to create engaging and effective educational content and experiences from early childhood to beyond the classroom.  HMH serves more than 50 million students in over 150 countries worldwide, while its award-winning children's books, novels, non-fiction, and reference titles are enjoyed by readers throughout the world. For more information, visit

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About the Association of Children’s Museums

Established in 1962, the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) is a professional member service organization for the children’s museum field. ACM is the only organization representing museums and professionals dedicated to early childhood play, the starting point in the continuum of lifelong learning. ACM aims to bring the children's museum experience to kids everywhere, providing access and learning opportunities to families across the nation.

About Ultimate Block Party

In 2009, a small group of educators, business leaders, authors and researchers came together to champion the importance of play in the lives of children. Conceived as a multi-tiered social movement, the groundbreaking initiative aims to ensure that all children are provided with the competitive skills necessary to succeed in the 21st Century global economy as well as build a public dialogue to underscore the value of play in fostering lifelong achievement and social, emotional and physical well-being. The organization’s mission is to change attitudes, beliefs and practices how children learn among families, educators, child-care providers, pediatricians and policymakers.

Leah Riviere
Communications Manager
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt