Bookstore shelves are full of children’s books. They come in all sizes, shapes, colors, telling anything and everything, but the first question we need to ask ourselves is: are all these books suitable for our children?
Montessori pedagogy brings a global reflection on how to do things with your child, on the things offered to him, and on his environment. It is therefore logical that we take great care in choosing the books we offer to our daughter.
Rita and I are passionate about books and reading. We always have an open book on our bedside table, and we wish with all our heart to pass this passion for books on to our little girl and our future children. Since her birth, we have been looking for books adapted to her needs and consistent with the world in which we live, and frankly, it is not always easy!
Through this article, we will try to answer the following questions:
- Why is it necessary to be diligent in choosing a toddler’s book?
- What are the benefits of reading for your child?
Finally, we will offer you a list of Montessori books for toddlers that we find very interesting.
What are the three essential guidelines in choosing a children's book?
Until the age of 6, most children cannot differentiate between what is reality and imagination. They just don’t have the ability or the hindsight to distinguish between something that actually exists and something that the adult has invented.
However, it is a crucial period in childhood because it is when the children build their own view of the world. Maria Montessori speaks very often of the “absorbing mind” of the child. Rightly, the child between 0 and 6 years old records all kinds of information that will allow him to make a representation of the world that surrounds him and how this one works.
Bringing Montessori books to concrete learning and including images/photos/drawings representing reality is to respect the pace of construction of the imagination in children under 6 years old.
Why choose a book telling the story of an animal that dresses, talks, and seems to live like a human when you can choose exactly the same Montessori book telling the story of a little boy or a little girl?
This kind of book will have all the more impact on the child as the child can identify with the situations experienced by the character in his book. It will be easy for him to draw parallels between his life and the book hero’s life. For the record, a few weeks ago, when leaving the library, my daughter fell and hurt her knee. In the evening, while we were taking a shower, she saw the scratch on her knee and said to us, “Fallen, like Lola.” A girl from one of her books named Lola falls from her bicycle and hurt her knee. Our girl had fully understood the cause and effect and shared it with us when he visualized his scratch.
Here are the three qualities that a children’s book must-have.
The characters who speak and live like humans must be humans. The situations experienced by these characters must recall the child’s daily life.
the drawings, images, or photos must be explicit and representative of the child’s environment.
Children can learn something: around 18 months, you can enhance their library with documentary books.
around 18 months, you can enhance their library with documentary books.
Following these 3 principles, you will understand that the types of books below should be avoided in your child’s library:
The benefits of reading for children
To instill a taste for reading in your children is a beautiful task and an invaluable gift from you. Books open the doors to unlimited teaching in every possible and imaginable area.
With your child under 6, reading will be an opportunity to experience a special and unique moment every day. This is a golden opportunity to create a special and intimate bond with your child. This moment can be part of the bedtime ritual and can lead to a little conversation that will allow the child to be reassured about the availability you are devoting to him. Your child, through this moment, also fills his emotional reservoir with your presence.
In order for children to become familiar with their books, they must be able to:
- Catch them by themselves: you have to make them available in a very accessible way. At home, our daughter’s books are in a small cabinet at her height, near her bed.
- Touch them as they please: they must be able to carry them, turn the pages, point their finger at what he shows and/or describes. they must be able to feel that his books belong to them. Perhaps a page will find itself folded or a little torn, so it will be an opportunity to repair it together and make them aware of the book’s fragility and, therefore, of the vocation they must have in taking care of it.
You don’t have to have dozens of different books, at first, 2 or 3 are enough. Children like to have the same books read to them over and over again. Then over time, you can enrich his library on occasions like his birthday and Christmas, and then you can borrow some from your city library as well.
Best Montessori books for toddlers that we really like
We have always loved reading to our daughter since she was in her mother’s womb, I took care to fill her library as much as possible with educational and attractive books, so here is our selection of the best Montessori books for toddlers aged between 18 to 36 months
I personally adore this little book. It communicates all the love that parents can have for their child to grow up to be anything he wants in the future. The artwork and the illustrations are very beautiful and entertaining for your little one, a must have in your library.
This book shares with us the adventures of the pilot Mr. Small, a book with gorgeous illustrations. This book is perfect if your child adores airplanes and helicopters.
If you want your child to discover all the wonders of the weather and its vocabulary, then this book is made for you cutely illustrated, it explains in a fun way everything you need to know about the clouds, the sun, the wind etc.
It is a large book that illustrates different scene either in a zoo or in a supermarket; your child must find an element drawn on the right page in that same scene. This wonderful book allows you to share an activity with your child and at the same time, develop his sense of observation.
“Lola at the Library” is a book that may make your child love reading even more, it tells the story of a little girl who goes to the library with her mother, and all the adventures that go with it, a lovely book to introduce your child to the world of books
This book represents in a fun way, in pictures, all the actions your baby can do. My daughter loves to reproduce all the actions illustrated in this book—an excellent way for your toddler to discover his physical capabilities.
This is actually just a brilliant and traditional book for teaching letters through fruits and vegetables; my daughter loves all fruits and vegetables. Since she was a little baby, I’ve tried to introduce to her everything, so she finds this book very entertaining since she learns letters through her favorite vegetables and fruits.
An excellent book for your toddler to learn to count in full color with very nice illustrations.
This Book shows toddlers how they can help with their baby brother or sister. This is the whole principle of the “Henry helps”series. They are great for encouraging children to help with the chores of everyday life.
This is an entertaining lift-the-flap book to help your child learn about size opposite, cleverly designed, you can make up stories with your child as he discovers the creative illustrations- a must-have I might say- personally I love all the series.
We also go to the library to diversify the reading a little bit.
Obviously there are many other very interesting books like :
- Edible Colors: See, Learn, Eat
- Waiting for Baby
- Beach Baby
- First Book of Sushi (World Snacks Series)
- Mini Masters Boxed Set
And the list goes on! You can also visit the Monti Kids website to discover more about the Montessori pedagogy.
If you feel that your child is ready to learn to read, check out this article to get started. We will try to add books that we find interesting at the slightest opportunity, on your part share your reading with us so that we continue to diversify and enhance our daughter’s small library and those of our readers of course.