Choosing Montessori Appropriate books is a minefield, there’s lots of strong opinions about what makes a good children’s book and adding Montessori to the mix can be explosive.
I’ve put together this list of Montessori Appropriate Authors to speed up your selections and allow you to make requesting books from your library easier. If you’re more a ‘watcher’ than a reader there’s a video version with a look inside the books at the end!
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These books all follow the basic Montessori criteria
- Child Centered
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Technically Helen is more often an illustrator than an author, with few exceptions the vast majority of her canon are thematically realistic and beautifully illustrated.
You’ll recognise her art work from We’re Going On A Bear Hunt and Farmer Duck. My favourite book is The Growing Storya lovely story about growing up and the changing seasons.
Graham’s books are fairly easy to spot thanks to his distinctive style. His stories are gentle, child centred and slightly wistful for a bygone era.
My favourite book is How the Sun Got to Coco’s House, this is a Montessori classic which follows the sun as it journeys across all the countries of the world, greeting the children that it meets before finally creeping through Coco’s window.
Campbell’s stories are ideal for the youngest readers, they are simple, realistic and recognisable from a child’s own experiences.
He’s most well know for the famous Dear Zoo which just about meets my criteria for Montessori appropriate, most of his other books are much sounder choices. My own favourite is Oh Dear, which follows little Buster as he makes his way round the farm yard looking for an egg.
Atinuke sets all her books in her native Nigeria. They all offer an exciting insight into a very different culture. Her illustrations are lively and the stories she tells playful and funny.
She is most famous for her AnnaHisbiscus books which are well worth checking out, for older readers there’s The Number One Car Spotter series which is equally engaging. My choice from her catalogue is her newest release, Baby Goes To Market. Baby is a up to mischief while Mummy is busy at the market, dive into this vibrant and richly illustrated story to find out what happens!
Finding books that rhyme is an ongoing challenge for the Montessori parent, harder still is finding book that feature a true to life animals. Lynley Dodd’s books do both of these things. She has two brilliant series, one for cat lovers called SlinkyMalinky and one for dog people called HairyMaclary.
Hairy Maclary SIT! Is our favourite, it tells the story of what happens when Hairy spots a duck during the obedience class. It’s strong rhyme and repeated verses are ideal for a child sensitive to language, the illustrations are really detailed and all done from a low down ‘child’s-eye-view’.
Honourable mention…Carole Thompson
Carol is another rhyming author, her books are so very simple that they are perfect first fiction books. Her board books focus on just one aspect of a child’s daily life and are filled with gentle pastel illustrations.
My favourite series is Play International and my favourite book is Snug which looks at all the cosy ways that animals and bugs keep warm and snug in the winter. It’s adorable!