Reading is an opportunity to teach your child about the world around them, which they are fascinated by! Before the age of three, children are concrete learners, meaning they view everything they encounter as reality.
Because we are teaching them about the world, it’s best to choose books with real pictures and stories during this stage. This means no monsters, no flying giraffes and no superpowers. (Save those wonderful fantasy books for around age six!)
Read on for our favorite titles, picked by our Monti Kids Learning Team, linked to our affiliate, Amazon, for your convenience.
What to look for in books for babies
Find books with accurate representations of objects, animals and daily life that allow your baby to make connections to the things he encounters in the world like getting ready in the morning, grocery shopping, first plane ride and visiting grandparents. Think of it as bringing the world to your child, and consider what kind of information you want to fill their mind with.
Select books that are age-appropriate. You can think about introducing books in a progression of a) story complexity and b) the number of words on each page.
Rotate books just as you rotate toys. (Here’s why we rotate toys.)
Montessori books for infants we love
Books for babies with one image per page — and no words
- Black on White by Tana Hoban
- Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring by Gerda Muller
- Baby! Baby! by Vicky Ceelen
- Wooden Book by Monti Kids (comes in our Level 2 Montessori Box!)
Books for babies with one image per page — with one word or a short phrase
- My Vest is White by Dick Bruna
- Global Babies by The Global Fund for Children
- Baby Faces by DK
- Board books from Helen Oxenbury
- Freight Train by Donald Crews
- Board books from Byron Barton
- Board Books by Lois Lenski
Simple storybooks with beautiful pictures
- Wash Up! by Gwenyth Swain
- Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Helen Oxenbury
- Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers
- Chameleon, Chameleon by Joy Cowley
- 10 Tiny Toes by Caroline Church
- We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
- Sleep Tight Farm by Eugenie Doyle
- Whose Nest Is This? By Heidi Roemer
Books for babies with rhythmic language to foster their love and appreciation of language
Reading to your child at this stage is more about actively engaging them in a discussion rather than a recitation. And you may find yourself discussing the pictures instead of reading a lengthy story word for word. By doing this, we expose them to rich language and develop their love of reading and appreciation for language.
And of course, choose books that you love. What were some of your favorites growing up? Your interest in and fondness for a book can be felt by your little one, which will help them develop a love and appreciation for books themselves.
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