19 Best Montessori Books for Children

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The Montessori approach to education is a child-centered educational method that Dr. Maria Montessori developed in the early 1900s.

It emphasizes the natural development of children and encourages independence, self-discipline, and a love of learning. Montessori books for toddlers introduce young kids to new concepts and ideas through interactive and engaging experiences. They’re typically hands-on, with bright colors and textures.

If you’re a parent, teacher, or caregiver looking for the best Montessori-inspired books to add to your child’s reading list, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ve rounded up the best Montessori books for children, but first, let’s learn about the Montessori approach to reading for toddlers.

If you’re seeking further information about integrating reading into  your Montessori home, check out our article about setting up your Montessori bookshelf.


Reading books with your toddler serves several important functions including:

  • helping them to develop a love of reading at a young age
  • introducing them to new vocabulary and concepts,
  • expanding their knowledge and understanding of the world around them. 

Reading also helps toddlers to develop fine motor skills, such as turning pages, pointing, and touching, a benefit of reading that is easy to overlook.

If you’re looking to teach your child to read in a Montessori-aligned way, it’s important to remember that in a Montessori classroom children learn to write before they learn to read. Children are taught how letters correspond with sounds in an approach that helps them to develop something we call ‘phonemic awareness’. Phonics are taught in a sensory way, using materials like the sandpaper letters for children to trace letters and learn the alphabet. 

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for reading to with your child! The more exposure they have to reading with you from a young age, the more information they’re soaking up ready to put into practice when they start to learn to write (and eventually read for themselves!).

Montessori Books for Toddlers

Let’s first look at the list of the key characteristics of Montessori books:

  • Hands-on: They’re designed to be hands-on, allowing children to touch, feel, and manipulate objects as they learn.
  • Multi-sensory: Montessori books engage all the senses, using bright colors, textures, and sounds to stimulate the child’s senses and encourage learning.
  • Realistic: They’re based on real-life situations, rather than fantasy-based ones. 
  • Sequential: Montessori books follow a sequence, gradually building on previous knowledge and skills to help the child progress at their own pace.
  • Simple and clear: Theyr’e simple and clear, using language and concepts appropriate for the child’s age and level of development.

Research has shown that children who engage in multi-sensory experiences when learning to read have better reading skills and enjoy reading more than other kids. Multi-sensory experiences in reading help kids develop the skills they need to become confident and successful readers.

Now, let’s review some of the best Montessori-friendly books for babies, toddlers and young children.

Introduce your little one to the world of black and white with the engaging and beloved Black & White Board Book. This accordion-style foldout book features fourteen bold black-and-white high-contrast images for engaging babies and young children during playtime. This sturdy, standalone book is a perfect gift for new parents and babies. As your baby’s vision develops, they’re drawn to high-contrast images, making this book a great first read for them. Moreover, seeing bold black-and-white contrast encourages the retina and optic nerve development, making this book helpful to your baby’s learning and development. Share the joy of reading with the Black & White Board Book with your little one!

Introduce your little one to the fascinating world of modern art with Art for Baby. This board book is a great way to inspire young minds with big ideas, using specially selected black-and-white images created by some of the world’s leading artists to captivate and stimulate young minds. As your baby recognizes the pictures, they will begin to connect with the world and develop art appreciation.  The book also features a stunning frieze that showcases all the images used, making it a perfect addition to any nursery or playroom. Watch your baby’s imagination and creativity soar with Art for Baby.

The Big Book of First Words is a fun and educational board book for young learners. It is filled with playful illustrations and will keep children eager to learn as they identify everyday objects and understand the world. The pages contain look-and-find activities encouraging interactive learning, making it a perfect home or preschool classroom addition. The sturdy oversized format of this board book is designed to withstand the wear and tear of little hands, ensuring that it will be a long-lasting resource for early learning. The interactive pages have prompts that help young kids learn first words, build their vocabulary, and hold their attention, as they search for people, places, and things in colorful illustrations.

The Visual Quiet Book is a cloth book for stimulating your baby’s visual development. This book is made for newborns with blurred vision and gradually increases in contrast over three months to help train and activate their brains. It’s the perfect tool for aiding visual development in the early stages because of the six high-contrast colors, nine different patterns, and one baby-safe mirror. Your baby will be encouraged to explore and have fun for hours with crinkle paper and a bibi sounder hiding in the pages. The bright colors and contrasting backgrounds will attract their attention, and the black-and-white patterns will help them develop their ability to focus and concentrate. The reflection mirror also lets them focus on human faces, promoting social development. Give the gift of visual development with the Visual Quiet Book!

The Wonderful Things You Will Be is a timeless New York Times bestseller celebrating the boundless potential of children and the endless love that parents have for them. Through rhythmic rhyme and stunning illustrations, the author captures the qualities and possibilities we see in our kids, from brave and adventurous to creative and kind. This heartfelt book is ideal for kids of all ages and a wonderful choice for special events, such as baby showers, birthdays, and graduations.

The classic First 100 Words board book has a soft padded cover perfect for little hands to hold. With bright and colorful photographs, your little one will enjoy exploring and learning with each page turn. The durable board book pages can withstand even the most enthusiastic little readers. At the same time, the simple words and pictures in this book help young kids build their vocabulary and develop early language skills.

Join Leo on his visit to the doctor in this heartwarming and educational book, Leo Gets a Checkup. With colorful illustrations and relatable characters, this charming book helps to ease the fears and anxieties that young children may have about doctor visits. This book is a great tool for preparing kids for their first checkup.

Butterfly Colors and Counting is the perfect book for young butterfly enthusiasts learning to count and recognize colors. The author introduces young kids to various butterfly species with simple, engaging text. Moreover, this book will introduce young children to counting and colors. Perfect for little hands to browse, Butterfly Colors and Counting is a fun and educational addition to any young child’s library.

In this beautifully illustrated book, young kids will be encouraged to explore and interact with their environment. The rhythmic, rhyming text is perfect for little ones, and the eye-catching color photos of toddlers will surely capture their attention. It is a wonderful introduction to the world of discovery and mastery that opens up to children as they learn to use their hands in new and exciting ways.

Big Red Barn is a delightful board book that follows the gentle rhythms of a farmyard from dawn until dusk. Margaret Wise Brown’s simple yet engaging text takes children through a day in the life of a farm, where a family of animals play, eat, and sleep in harmony. With its sturdy pages and charming illustrations by Felicia Bond, this book is the perfect size for little hands to hold and explore.

Celebrate the joy of babies with the heartwarming board book, Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes. With delightful rhymes and charming illustrations, this book captures the wonder and beauty of babies worldwide. This book features diverse and lovable characters, and each page is filled with cuddly babies and their precious little fingers and toes. The padded board book format makes it perfect for little hands to hold and explore, while the rhythmic text will engage and delight young children.

Introduce your little one to the world’s wonders with I See, a delightful board book. In this charming book, a curious baby explores the world and discovers the beauty in the simplest things – from watching a frog leap to gazing at the moon. With colorful and expressive illustrations, I See encourages young children to use their senses and spark their imagination.

Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert is a vibrant and colorful board book that teaches little ones the alphabet while introducing various delicious and healthy fruits and vegetables. From apples to zucchini, each page features a different letter of the alphabet and a corresponding fruit or vegetable, accompanied by bold and eye-catching illustrations that will capture the attention of even the youngest readers. A handy glossary at the end of the book provides extra information about each food. So, it’s a fun and educational book encouraging healthy eating habits.

All the World is a beautiful and moving story that celebrates the interconnectedness of everything. With stunning illustrations and simple, poetic text, this book takes readers on a journey through a day, highlighting the beauty and importance of everything from small shells on the beach to the vastness of the sky. This Classic Board Book edition is perfect for little ones and will help foster a love and appreciation for the world around them. So, share this book with your little one and discover the world’s magic together!

In “Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth,” author and illustrator Oliver Jeffers creates a guidebook for children about life on Earth. With humor and insight, Jeffers explains the complexities of our planet, our place in space, and the vast diversity of humanity. Created for his child, the book’s message of kindness and tolerance is universal and essential for children and parents alike.

Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman is a timeless celebration of the unbreakable bond between a parent and child. Through beautifully crafted illustrations and heartwarming prose, Tillman shows no matter where life takes us, the love we share with our loved ones will always be there. With each page, children and parents alike will be reminded that love is the greatest gift we can give and that it knows no boundaries.

Whoever You Are is a beautiful picture book that celebrates diversity and the universal traits that unite us all. No matter where we live, what we look like, or how we speak, children worldwide share the same experiences of joy, love, and sadness. This book encourages young children to accept differences through stirring words and bold illustrations while recognizing similarities and rejoicing in both.

Last Stop on Market Street is a heartwarming and award-winning children’s book that celebrates the beauty of everyday life and the special bond between a young boy and his grandmother. CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town every Sunday, and as they travel through the city, CJ wonders why they don’t have the same possessions and privileges as some people around them.  But with each question, his wise and loving grandma offers a new perspective, showing him the beauty in their routine and the world around them. This book teaches kindness, empathy, gratitude, and finding joy in unexpected places.

The dot is a heartwarming story about the power of creativity and self-expression. Even those who don’t consider themselves artists can be inspired to create something beautiful, as demonstrated by the protagonist, Vashti. When her art teacher encourages her to “make a mark,” Vashti’s initial frustration leads to an unexpected journey of self-discovery. Peter H. Reynolds’s charming illustrations bring to life the simple but powerful message that a single dot can be the start of something wonderful. This book is a must-read for anyone who needs a gentle push to unlock their creative potential.

Montessori Books vs. Traditional Children’s Books

Montessori and traditional children’s books differ in content, illustrations, and approach.

Differences in Content and Illustrations

Montessori books typically include factual information with realistic illustrations. They sometimes usually feature real-life photos, and if they use stylized illustrations they are based on real-life concepts.

On the other hand, traditional children’s books often have more fantastical illustrations and are more focused on narrative storytelling rather than factual information.

Simplicity in Montessori Books

Simplicity is key in Montessori education; this extends to the books used in Montessori classrooms. Montessori books have clear and straightforward content, focused on the essentials of a subject. Moreover, the language used is often simple.

The Bottom Line

I hope you found this article helpful in searching for Montessori children’s books.

Reading is a great way to enhance a child’s learning and development, and these books are a wonderful addition to any child’s library. Also, reading should be a fun and enjoyable experience for children, so pick books they will love and that spark their curiosity.

Happy reading!

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