Recommended Reads

What’s on Our Bookshelves 

A little look at the Spring books we will be reading with our toddler.

What’s that you smell in the air?! It might be SPRING! I can hardly contain myself, while I’m trying to embrace seasonal living and have actually enjoyed Winter this year I’m still ready for longer days, blue skies and getting the feeling back in my fingers.

We’ve stocked up our bookshelves with some fresh books for this fresh season. These books will stay on our shelves for a few weeks. They will make up the ‘core’ or our bookshelves, we will top them up with weekly trips to the library as well as a few old favourites.

Reading Books with A Toddler

Between the ages of 18 and 24 months your child will experience what’s called a ‘language explsosion’ or in Montessori terms the sensitive period for language acquisition.

At roughly 18 months you might notice that during story time they go from being passive listeners to active tellers. Frequently children will be more interested in pointing at the different elements of an illustration and discussing them than hearing a story. They only need to hear the name of each item in a picture a few times before they start trying to say them for themselves.

For this reason it’s worth hunting out books on topics that your child is very interested in and books which have rich and detailed illustrations that provide lots of opportunity for discussion and language building. It’s also worth letting you child take the lead when choosing and reading books, they have a funny way of knowing what they need!

All Pigs Are Beautiful 

Without a hint of exaggeration Alfie is obsessed with pigs! He’s currently happiest when watching pigs, reading about pigs or making pig sounds! It was hard to track down a realistic pig book (Peppa Pig I’m looking at you) but I remembered this one from my own child and was eventually able to get my hands on it, it seems to be slowly going out of print but The Book Depository still have it.

The illustrations in here are stunning and so detailed, Alfie particularly enjoys the ‘busy’ farmyard ones. The story itself is a biography of one man’s love affair with pigs, it’s full of interesting pig facts too which is a bonus – I’m learning loads!

A Little Guide to Gardening 

This book is one of the best on our shelves BUT it’s been hit and miss for us, I bought it having seen it recommended by other toddler Moms but without seeing inside.

While it is stunning and full of gardening info and tips that even I didn’t know it’s not age appropriate for an 18 month old. It’s staying on our shelf for another little while – mostly so we can talk about the gorgeous detailed pictures – and then I’ll put it away for another year or two!


Yes it’s almost springtime but in Northern Ireland that means one thing – RAIN! This is a sweet story which perfectly captures that familiar childhood frustration of having a sensible, rain averse parent!

The illustrations are lovely and detailed, some of the outside ones even look wet! While I like it it Alfie is taking a little while to warm to it.

Alfie’s Alphabet 

You didn’t think there’d be a Montessori friendly reading list without some Shirley Hughes?

I’m normally not a fan of alphabet books but I’ve made an exception because everything in here is a lovely extract from a Hughes story!

And The Good Brown Earth 

This is Alfie’s pick of the bunch! It’s a lovely book which tells the story of a year in Gram’s garden. It’s perfect for us as we’re starting up our own growing season in the next few weeks.

The story is very simple and as an adult I found the refrain “And he good Brown earth got on with doing what te good brown earth does best” strangely comforting. Alfie calls it Joe after the little boy in the story and is always asking for it.

Hairy Maclary Sit

This book was another massive hit! Alfie loves the rhyme and rhythm of this story and he’s fascinated by dogs, this is fast becoming a favourite.

Lynley Dodd is one of my favourite Montessori appropriate authors. Her words are great for children building their phonic map while her pictures are FULL of funny little details your child will enjoy discovering.

Katie And The Starry Night

Swoon! Have you every read such a gorgeous book? The dreamy light of Vincent van Gogh’s painting is perfect for this time of year when we seem to go to bed and wake up to a real life swirling dream behind the hills.

Katie’s adventure through the paintings nudges this book out of the ‘Montessori appropriate’ category but I just can’t say no!

Out And About A First Book of Poems

Another Shirley Hughes gem! We were the first to borrow this from our library and my excitement is real!

The poetry in this collection is short and simple but still has a enough imagery to serve as a perfect introduction to symbolic language. It’s important to include a variety of literature while your child is young, nearly every teenager I’ve ever met is terrified of poetry even though nearly every child loves it, keep the lie alive by keeping poetry on the shelves.

DK First Facts 

Alfie picked these books himself and is devouring them! He’s learnt lots of new vocabulary by discussing them and finds them fascinating. We get through both of them a few times a day!

Hidden World Forest

When have you ever seen such a gorgeous book?! Personally I could read it all day and the images and language are perfect for Alfie’s stage.

But….the layout is tricky for Alfie to manage and sadly I think it would be a better fit in a few months time.

La Primavera Ya Esta Aqui

This is our Spanish pick, I’m undecided about how many new Spanish books to include and struggling to find ones that are a good fit for us!

Anyway this is a fun, plucky and beautifully illustrated vision of the animals waking up to new life and love in the Spring time! It’s also available in English.

Montessori Friendly Books for Spring time, 10 books to read with toddlers in Spring

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