Children's Books in a Montessori Classroom

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Maria Montessori took a view of children's literature that was was very different from most others' of her day and ours. She thought that it was best to avoid giving books to young children that had magic or other fantastical elements in the stories. She thought that children below a certain age would be confused about what things in the stories were real or not. She thought is was disrespectful to children to not provide them with an accurate portrayal of the world when they were still building there understanding of how the world worked.
Another useful criteria for selecting children's books comes from the 19th century British educator Charlotte Mason. She advised against books that used baby-talk, or dumbed-down stories, or that insulted the intelligence of the reader in any other ways. She referred to these books as "twaddle."

Realistic Fiction

  • A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
  • Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
  • The Nutcracker Doll by Mary Newell DePalma
  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats