Montessori Friendly Books for Toddlers | Top 20 Picks

We love books in our home and finding beautiful Montessori aligned books for our toddler boys has been a great treat every birthday and Christmas.

Montessori friendly books for toddlers can be budget friendly and good quality, thus allowing for multiple siblings or family members to get good use from them.

Many on this list are great Montessori books for babies that they can grow with into toddler years.

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If you are wondering what makes a book Montessori aligned it usually falls under the description of things that are “real” and describe real life things or situations.

Thus, often avoiding fantasy such as fairies, monsters, and things that are “created ideas” that you wouldn’t see occur in real life.

Each family can decide what they find suits them, as I know some love sharing a favorite book or two from our own childhood. So no judgement here!

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Living room shelf with book section

We are big fans of board books which allows for easier independent page-turning skills for our 1 year old.

Most of our favorites on this list are board books.

20 Montessori Friendly Toddler Books

Here is a quick list of our favorite Montessori friendly books for toddlers :

  1. I Can
  2. The Babies and Doggies Book
  3. Hands Can
  4. Mini Masters Books
  5. Let’s Find Momo Outdoors!
  6. World Snacks
  7. Discovery: Hammer at the Construction Site!
  8. Van Fleet Animal Trio
  9. Hush, Little Horsie
  10. On the Farm Touch & Feel
  11. DK Touch & Feel Kittens
  12. Goodnight Construction Site
  13. My Heart Fills with Happiness
  14. Global Babies
  15. All Kinds of People
  16. Edible Numbers
  17. Edible Colors
  18. Smile
  19. Baby Animals, Who Am I?
  20. Fry Bread: A Native American Story

Below I have written a bit more detail about each individual book so you can find books that might interest your individual child.

Most of these books are under $10, so for those looking for budget friendly Montessori books this list is for you!

My favorite book to read is #12 if you wanted to know my top pick, it’s not the most “Montessori aligned” of the list but it’s a heart-felt favorite I enjoy reading and has realistic explanations.

Our 20 Favorite Montessori Toddler Books

1 | I Can

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“I Can” board book is a favorite board book for reading and interaction. We read it and then my boys like to act it out, such as “I can jump”. Great book to read when your child is very interested in gross motor skills.

2 | The Babies & Doggies Book

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If you have a dog (or cat, there is cat version) the Babies & Doggies board book is an adorable read that compares likeness between how a baby and a dog can both do things.

3 | Hands Can Board Book

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Hands Can is a beautiful board book that demonstrates all the task a child can do with their own hands via photos and text.

4 | Mini Masters Board Books

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If you are looking to expose your little one to Art then Mini Masters Board Books are a lovely introduction to artists for a baby or toddler. The classics is a durable format for little hands!

5 | Let’s Find Momo Outdoors

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Who doesn’t love a hide & seek adventure book? Let’s Find Momo Outdoors is a fun interactive book of finding where Momo the dog is on each page. HUGE favorite with the boys!

6 | World Snacks Series

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The World Snacks Board Book series is a fun collection demonstrating some favorite foods around the world. A great way to introduce new foods and maybe try them after reading the book!

7 | Discovery: Hammer at the Construction Site!

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A BIG favorite, Discovery: Hammer at the Construction Site gives real life photos and sound options of various construction vehicles.

8 | Van Fleet Animal Trio

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The Van Fleet Animal Trio is made up of Moo, Cat, and Dog board books. Great realistic information on each page to explain more about each animal in a toddler friendly format. Some pages include interactive components which my eldest really enjoys.

9 | Hush, Little Horsie

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Hush Little Horsie is a beautifully illustrated book that emphasizes love and motherhood in animals.

10 | On the Farm Touch & Feel

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Touch and feel board books are always a big hit in our house, and On the Farm is one of those that is greatly loved. My youngest will often explore this book on his own while sitting on his child lounge.

11 | DK Touch & Feel Kittens

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This was my younger boy’s favorite book for a long while. As I said before, “Tough & Feel” books are much loved by toddlers and DK’s Kitten touch & feel board book is a great addition to any Montessori bookshelf.

They have a few different topics in their touch & feel board book series, so have a look at the others if you child has different interests.

two toddler boys reading Montessori books on blue couch next to their Montessori bookshelf
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See him reading this book above

12 | Goodnight Construction Site

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I LOVE reading this Goodnight Construction Site at bedtime! It’s on the “edge” of Montessori aligned because the machines have been humanized, but the description on each page of what the machine does and how it gets put away at the end of the day is realistic.

In this whole list, this is MY PERSONAL FAVORITE book to read my boys. It’s a great transition to bedtime and a fun way to learn about different machines on a construction site and what they do.

13 | My Heart Fills with Happiness

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My Heart Fills with Happiness has a beautiful narrative that shares the story of an indigenous family and cultural connection.

It is so important to include diversity on our bookshelves and this a great toddler book to bring that diversity of narratives into our child’s reading experiences.

14 | Global Babies

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When looking for options to bring diversity to a Montessori home bookshelf, Global Babies is a big favorite among the Montessori community. If you don’t have it already it is a beautiful addition to your baby or toddlers reading list.

15 | All Kinds of People

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This book is a great option for normalizing the diversity of people we have in our world and in our everyday lives. It is a great way to allow your toddler to ask questions and bring up the discussion of diversity of people in our world community.

16 | Edible Numbers

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A fun book to bring numbers and different foods up in conversation.

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If you are beginning your color sorting journey then Edible Colors is a great book to add to your Montessori shelf.

It was great for showing foods in our kitchen and color sorting during practical life skill time when prepping meals.

18 | Smile

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Another Montessori community favorite that is a wonderful baby or young toddler board book. Smile will bring many smiles to your child’s face as they explore expressions.

19 | DK Baby Animals, Who Am I?

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Another BIG favorite by the boys, they love the touch & feel type books and these mystery look though with holes.

Factual information is provided on each page about each animal that is featured. Lots of interactive fun with DK books like Baby Animals, Who Am I?

20 | Fry Bread : A Native American Story

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This is such a BEAUTIFUL book and so thoughtfully written and illustrated.

Make sure to read the authors note to preface, and there is a recipe to go with the story at the end.

If doing a bit of prep, its fun to get ingredients ready for the recipe and then make the recipe after reading! (I have many treasured memories enjoying fry bread as a kid myself)

Tips on Montessori Bookshelves

Then general way to present books to your child in a Montessori aligned way is to face the cover towards the child on the shelf instead of the spine of the book like we typically see at a library.

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There are SOO many options for creating a Montessori aligned bookshelf.

If you have a space you use already, like our living room shelf above, you can just make one section the “book section” and set books up like we have.

If you are after a dedicated stand alone bookshelf, my first go to is Good Buy Gear which is a secondhand website that ends up having many lovely Montessori items, including forward facing bookshelves.

Just use the search term “bookshelf” and some should come up like they did for me when I had a look. (Great for finding other budget friendly Montessori materials!)

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The sling bookshelf above is a very well liked Montessori aligned bookshelf in the Montessori at home community.

It allows you to put books into the sling so that the covers face forward and your child can see and select a book of that suits their interests without needing to pull them out individually.

I would say the above shelf is the most common bookshelf you will see in Montessori homes, especially once you get past board books and they don’t stand up on their own as easily.

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One of our early Montessori shelves using Bunnings shelf

If you are in Australia and looking for an affordable shelf that is not the typical “cube shelf” I have a post showing how we used a shelf from Bunnings under $50 that you can use for Montessori purposes very easily that is a budget friendly Montessori shelf. (pictured above)

If you need inspiration on how to present, rotate, and store books for your toddler, Nicole from the Kavanaugh Report demonstrates what she does in this book storage & rotation article.

Having a bigger bookshelf with ALL your books and swapping them in/out onto your child’s personal bookshelf is fairly common.

Also, you could have storage boxes with the rest of your collection and you swap books from box to shelf.

Not having too many out at a time is a key component, as it prevents overwhelming your child with choice and provides them the space to really take their time and explore each book that is out.

As shown in much research, the less toys/materials a toddler has available the more engagement and longer periods of play with a single toy will occur.

This promotes better focus and longer attention spans.

In a four toy study, children demonstrated playing in more advanced ways with fewer items present. Participants also played for longer periods similar to the study linked above.

Thus, present research supports similar findings to what Maria Montessori found in her initial days of studying early childhood development.

Quick Re-cap

Plenty of beautiful books can be considered Montessori baby and toddler books as long as they promote real life ideas.

Books with actual photos or illustrations that are realistic are more aligned, but if you love a book like “Good Night Construction Site” that promotes realistic processes with some childish features don’t feel you can’t include it on your bookshelf.

If you made me pick my Top 3 choices, they would be:

DK Baby Animals Who Am I?
Let’s Find Momo Outdoors!
– Goodnight Construction Site

When picking a place to put your books if you haven’t set-up a Montessori book area before, remember to place books with cover facing front.

This allows child to select a book without having to pull each one out to see what it is.

That wraps up our favorite Montessori toddler books, hope this list inspires some new reads for your bookshelf at home! Or maybe some to find at your local library!

Montessori Books for Babies to Grow With to Toddler Years | 2021

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