Friday, August 28, 2015

On Our Montessori Bookshelves

Reading has been an important part of our daily routine with both Henry and Nora since they were born. Lately, both of them will sit and read (or be read to) for long stretches of time. 

Instead of one reading nook, we have several reading areas throughout our home. In our living room, we have a large basket with books from both age groups. They each also have their own small shelf in our play area. Nora's room has a basket of books and Henry's an entire bookshelf.

Once our new playroom is finished, they will have a larger reading area, with a child-friendly bookshelf

The books we pick for each child for these areas, obviously, vary quite a bit since they are in such different places developmentally. 


At 14-months-old, we are looking for simple realistic books. We want something based in realty with clear consise language. We avoid fairy tales, talking animals and cartoons when pictures are available. 

Some current favorites -- One Little LambHush, Little Horsie; Look at Me! On the Farm; Smile!; Tom and Pippo's Day

This doesn't mean we completely avoid illustrations, but if real pictures are an option we lean toward that choice. The illustrations we do choose, however, are as lifelike and beautiful as possible. 

Hush, Little Horsie, for example, is her ultimate favorite right now. It's illustrated but you would hardly know it!


Henry, unlike Nora has a much wider range of books. We still try to avoid a lot of fantasy, but allow some. Star Wars {a love of his} is an obvious one. But, Henry is also right at the cusp of reading, and many early readers include themes {talking animals, character based} that might otherwise not be Montessori friendly.  

Current favorites -- Star Wars: The Story of Darth VaderAmazing YouThe Seven Continents; The Hippopotamus; The Book with No Pictures; Bob Books

Long story short, Henry has a mix of fiction and non-fiction, fantasy and reality. We follow his interests to cultivate a love for reading. But, we still prefer his books be as real as possible.

What are your children's favorite books? I'm linking up with How We Montessori to share our shelves today!

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  1. Hello, may I know what type of book sheets are those. My baby tries to tear the soft sheets :(

    1. They are board books. So the pages are heavy cardboard. There are also these Indestructible Books that are great for babies that try to rip pages {afflink}

  2. My 2 year old LOVES "Smile." Such a lovely little book! Do you have any of the others in the series?

  3. I know this is an old post, but what is that hippo book!? I'm slightly obsessed with hippos and am definitely trying to collect a little pile of hippo books. If not for my daughter, then me, ahaha.

    Also, why does Montessori veer away from fairy tales? I kinda can understand the aversion to talking animals, but fairy tales are so socially and culturally rich and informative that it surprised me to read that you stay clear of them. This may be a very, very big difference between Montessori and Steiner/Waldorf and I'd appreciate learning more.