Montessori friendly books (for 0-6 years old) are realistic, they can contain fiction, but it has to be based on reality. The reasoning behind it was based on Maria’s observation of children and their absorption of everything from environment and development of their own imagination, which should not be enforced by grown-ups. More about Montessori viewpoint on fantasy you can read in the following blog posts: by threeminutemontessori, montessori nortwwest, mariamontessori.com and readaboutreading.
In the following photo are examples of our favorite books for toddlers that cover the math topics of size and counting.
Size – a great book for toddlers for discussing about concepts of size: big and small and comparisons (big, bigger, the biggest). It is putting things in perspective, e.g. there is an example of a plane when we see it in the sky it looks small but when we stand next to it we see how it is actually really big. There are much more of this every day examples and comparisons. Great book to accompany your every day trips to nature and comparing big and small trees, stones etc.
Anno’s counting book – Natalia’s favorite as she is now in a sensitive period for counting. This book consists of only pictures which in a subtle manner follow changes in seasons on the northern hemisphere over the 12 months (in this book numbers 0-12 are introduced). The pictures add one item in each category for each new number, building on the previous scene. Readers can find and count children, adults, pine trees, cherry trees, buildings, etc. I believe this books evokes fascination in both adults and kids on aesthetic and intellectual levels.
Forest Bright, Forest Night – another great book for toddlers, where they can enjoy in first half of the book counting animals that are active during the day, and in the second half of the book counting and observing various nocturnal animals. It is a very poetical book and contains realistic images of all depicted animals. Also for kids it is fun to see that some animals are sleeping in first half of the book whereas they are being active in the second half of the book (during night). Apart from counting, this book is a great one for discussion of day and night, sun and moon and various animals from the woods.
One Gorilla: A counting book – if your kid is into animals, especially monkeys this one is brilliant counting book, it covers various primates which have very vivid facial expressions. For older kids it is a great introduction to evolution.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle’s classic, and I do not know a kid who does not like this book. It is perfect for toddler’s initial counting till five, learning about days in the week and about amazing process of metamorphosis.
There are numerous books on this topic, and here is one thought-provoking article on the topic
Enjoy and let me know what are your favorite math books for toddlers;)