We LOVE our books at school and it only makes sense that I dedicate a few posts to them.
Here is the first in a series of posts on our favorite books.
The books that children are most drawn to are those with a simple layout and beautiful language and pictures.
Montessori spoke a lot about keeping things ‘real’ for the young child. Young children are still distinguishing between reality and fantasy and it is best to offer them realistic stories, so as to not confuse them. This means no talking cats and other fantastic tales till they are about 5 years old.
Here are two books loved by the youngest member of our school, who we shall call ‘Missy’. She is a month shy of being 2 years old.
FROG ON HIS OWN by MERCER MAYER
This is just one in a series of books on a boy and his frog.
The illustrations are wonderful pen and ink drawings and ‘Missy’ loves to tell the story as the pages are turned.
BUS STOP by TARO GOMI
Young children will pick out the smallest things from their environment…a tiny ant crawling on the concrete, a little bead on the floor, a teeny spider hidden under the chair!
BUS STOPS caters to the young child’s love of small things.
The book has many details and is a burst of colour without being overwhelming.
Here are some books loved by the children between the ages of 2 1/2 years to 6 years.
PONNI – THE FLOWER SELLER by SIRISH RAO
BABU – THE WAITER by SIRISH RAO
Both books are as ‘real’ as they get.
The books are about a day in the life of a flower seller and a waiter.
Children love their simple narrative and the everyday images of life in urban India ( including a hungry calf eating Ponni’s flowers! :))
I FEEL THE SAME WAY by LILLIAN MOORE; illustrations by ROBERT QUACKENBUSH
A delightful little book of poems by Lillian Moore, who is a very popular figure at our school. One little 5 year old, loved her poems so much that she started calling herself Moore … she turned 8 years last month and still pens her name as … you guessed it, ‘ Moore’!
EVERYONE POOPS by TARO GOMI
Another book by Taro Gomi and an all time favourite. Children quietly appreciate that the topic of poop is out in the open, and love the whimsy of “a one-humped camel makes a one-humped poop and a two humped camel makes a two humped poop! … just kidding”
BRINGING DOWN THE MOON by JONATHAN EMMETT; illustrated by VANESSA CABBON
A sweet story about a mole who loves the moon and wants to have it for himself. The illustrations are soft, beautiful water colours.
FREDRICK by LEO LEONNI
Fredrick is a wonderful, unusual morality tale. I’m not a big fan of morality tales myself, but this one is fine by me …. and the children too, it seems.
Fredrick, the field mouse doesn’t join the others to work through the summer months gathering seeds, wheat and straw. Instead he gathers sun rays, colours-a-plenty and words for the long, dark winter months.
Finally, in the cold of the winter the other field mice applauded…”But Fredrick”, they said, “you are a poet!”
“So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall.”
— Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory