We started reading to Oliver since the first week he was born. We now spend hours each day reading together. It’s some of my treasured moments with him. Oliver also has independent time where he reaches for some of his favorite board books. We try to closely follow the Montessori Method in our home and the Montessori philosophy on books for young children are centered around reality. Fantasy is not introduced at this age. Why? I love how Maria Montessori expressed how children are trying to figure out how the real world works and everything around them each and every day. So most Montessori books focus on nature, day to day activities, the seasons, peace, friendship, and diversity.
We do have a few fantasy driven books on our shelves that Oliver has loved, such as Ooko and The Rabbit Listened. I don’t focus too heavily on the fact that they have talking animals in them because I love the messaging behind the stories, focusing on feelings and the importance of being yourself. However, with that said I wanted to share what books we have loved that are Montessori-inspired.
I’ll try to go in order of the age we introduced each book to Oliver, but obviously you can read any of these to your kids at at any time.
montessori-inspired books for babies 0-12 months and beyond
My Face Book – This book was given to us at the hospital and it was an instant hit. Ever since then I realized how Oliver gravitated towards books with real photographs and babies. So I ordered many of the below…
Baby Faces – Close ups of different babies facial expressions
Global Babies – Such a great one showing babies from all backgrounds.
My First Body – This has been the book Oliver has sat with at breakfast for almost his whole first year of life. It shows babies of all backgrounds and ages, doing, eating, and playing different things.
(The personalized board book above what a Mother’s Day gift from Rob and Oliver. You can make any type of board book on Artifact Uprising. Such a fun way to share photos of your family members near and far, with your children)
Smile – Another great face book with real photographs.
Making Faces – Another baby face book, but this one has a mirror – so great for teaching empathy.
Shades of People – One of my favorites with real photographs to share and celebrate diversity with your little ones.
Black and White – A black and white book with simple shapes and objects.
Look Look – Another black and white book with simple images, great to share with your child from the newborn stage.
Hands Can – Love this book for sharing all the things your hands can do. “Hold things, mold things, catch and throw.”
Hello Baby – A sweet way to introduce baby animals to your little one.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar – A classic! Oliver loves to point at all the fruit while I name what the caterpillar is eating.
Can You Say Peace – a nice way to introduce International Peace Day to your baby. It’s so fun learning how to say “peace” in different languages with Oliver.
Planting a Rainbow – Oliver is obsessed with the rainbows in his room and loves calling for the “boo” (his version of rainbow. We also enjoy checking on the garden in the backyard together so I thought this book would be perfect for Oliver. He really enjoys pointing out everything in the garden on each page.
I Can – I love any encouraging book. This one shares how a baby can jump, stretch and dance! Similar to the series below.
The Empowerment Series – I love these books because they share a diverse look at children with different skin tones, but also because they are such confidence builders: I Can Do It Myself, I Know A Lot, I Am So Brave. We read these books together but are a great option for kids to look at on their own.
Before After – Love the critical thinking aspect of this book, showing kids where a butterfly begins, how a bottle of milk starts, etc. Plus the illustrations are beautiful. It’s a picture book, so you can narrate to your child and make up your own stories.
You Belong Here – a newer one we’ve been reading – it follows a poetic rhythm talking about where all the animals live (in the sea, on the land) and how your baby belongs here (with you). Love the realistic drawings too.
Tiny Perfect Things – One of my favorites, and Oliver’s too. This sweet book is about a grandpa and little girl who go on a walk and find tiny perfect things in their neighborhood: a leaf, a feather, crows in the tree. It’s such a sweet book and Oliver enjoys pointing out all of the items.
Home – Shares a variety of different types of homes and houses.
Little People Big Dreams – We have a few books from this series, sharing a look into some famous lives. I like how these are little history lessons on people from all walks of life, from musicians to teachers and activists.
Alma – A little girl talks to her dad about how she got her very long name. Such an empowering book to teach little ones to be proud about where they come from and who they are.
Henry Helps with Dinner – Such a simple book, but so easy for kids to learn how to help out. Follows little Henry as he helps his dad with taco night!
We Are The Gardeners – Chip and Jojo share this fun book from their children’s perspective about building an at home garden, from one small potted plant to numerous garden beds.
The Wonderful Things You Will Be – A modern classic, sure to make you cry. The book goes through all the special things your child might do and who they will become, reminding them, no matter what you’ll love them whoever they turn out to be.
Eventually we’ll be integrating a lower profile bookcase for Oliver, but for now a few books on his shelf for easy access has worked great.
Be Kind – I remember picking this book out while pregnant with Ollie. It shows how one little girl’s kindness can spread into her school and out into her neighborhood and across the country, all by a series of small acts of kindness.
Whoever You Are – The first time I read this book, I got really choked up. It’s such a beautiful way to share with children how no matter how different we may look from one another, how far we may live, what type of school we go to, or what language we speak, we all want love and to give love.
The Little Airplane – Oliver is a huge fan of his play airplane. This story follows a pilot on his day in the skies.
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes – Such a favorite and a fun way to get baby involved in pointing at his fingers and toes, wiggling them around, etc.
You Matter – Teaching kids self-worth, no matter how big or small they are, if they’re first or last in line, etc.
Last Stop on Market Street -Follows a little boy who is riding the bus home with his grandma. The book shares about everything they see on the bus and when they get off and walk through a neighborhood. His grandma encourages him to look past the not-so-nice streets and look for the beauty around him.
Tom and Pippo Go For A Walk – A simple story about a little boy who goes for a walk and everything he sees along the way.
Today I Feel… – A simple book of emotions from A to Z.