Lot has been told about books and books for children. I would like to move on with this subject from Montessori point of view. As a Montessori teacher, I get back to basics when I choose books for children based on Dr Montessori’s ideas about young children as her philosophy is very close to my heart.
The method of choosing books for kids under 6 years old
1. CHOOSE BEAUTY
Select books with beutifull illustarions and show them how carefully we hold them as if they were works of art
2. NUMBER OF WORDS FOR PAGE
For infants – a book with one picture a page is perfect. Next comes a picture with a single word. Then a picture with one sentence. Followed by simple storyline and then increasingly complex stories
3. KEEP IT REAL
Young children are intrested in the world around them (rather than fantasy) so choose books with pictures of real objects and stories about known experiences, such as getting ready in the morning, going to school, visiting grandparents…
4. TYPE OF BOOK
- BOARD BOOKS – perfect for children under 1
- LIFT-THE-FLAP BOOKS – get interesting from 12-18 months
- STURDY PAGES – good choice for toddlers
- PAPER-BACK BOOKS – as children get older
5. LOOK FOR RICH LANGUAGE
Best books use descriptive words, accurate language. Avoid baby talk! Young children also enjoy books with a nice rhythm and rhyme.
It’s extra fun when the books have lots of details in the illustrations and you can find new discoveries to discuss every time you read it
How to exhibit books for children
When there is a small selection of books displayed with the covers on view, it’s just so much more attractive and easy to get the attention of a young child. They can see at a glance what is available. Not only can they see their favorites, they can be enticed to try new ones too.
In a traditional book shelf, you just see the spines. Kids can find the books but it’s more work for them, particularly for children who do not show a natural interest in books.
It’s easier for a young child to put the books away too rather than trying to squeeze a book back between two others.
How many books? I always say less is more! Too many and you will find them just pulling them off the bookshelf.
Magic word that always works with stuff for children is ROTATION!
Better to have fewer and rotate them once a week or when you notice they aren’t showing as much interest in them. You know how much young kids just love to repeat their favorites. So you don’t need to have more than 5-10 books out at a time.
In my children’s room, I made my own books shelve which matches with the room style and decorations. The books are displayed with the covers on view and since there is space for 2, max 3 book at the time, I just rotate them very often.
It looks like that:
10 BEST BEAUTIFUL BOOKS FOR CHILDREN UNDER 5 YEARS OLD IN ENGLISH
- The Yellow Balloon – by Charlotte Dematos: Kids (and adults) love to hunt for the yellow balloon on each page. Every page is beautifully illustrated. No words.
- Kitten’s First Full Moon – by Kevin Henkes: Simple story of a kitten. A lovely early word book.
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar – by Eric Carle: A classic and a must have for sure.
- Very First Words “At Home” – Usborne makes lovely word books and this one is no exception. Kids love to see things from their daily life in books
- Flower Garden – by Eve Bunting: few sentences on every page. Beautiful illustration. Realistic colors and beautiful story about a girl preparing a birthday present for her mummy.
- The Tiger Who Came for Tea – by Judith Kerr : This classic story of Sophie and her extraordinary teatime guest has been loved by millions of children since it was first published fifty years ago.
- Press Here – by Herve Tullet : A book that is totally interactive and has your kid pressing the pages and turning them over to see what happens. Dots start changing colour and moving as you press the dots on each page. Love this book. I like to describe this book as “before there were iPads”.
- Harry Maclary – by Lynleyy Dodd
- The Detective Dog – by Sara Ogilvie: these are two books that kids want to read again and again. Books with realistic pictures of dogs (and some cats) on adventures. Lovely rhyming too.
- Christopher’s Garden – by Elsa Beskow: Christopher learns all about the different fruits, vegetables and seasons of the years. Heartwarming book will classic illustration, bringing nature alive for young readers.
BOOKS AS PRESENTS FOR CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS EVE
It’s winter and many of you have already started thinking about the perfect gift for your children. In my opinion, Books are the greatest gifts!
Please, find the selection of these 4 books in Albanian language for the winter season.
They’re all available in ONE perfect new bookstore: the BOOKLAND STORE , in the ETC gallery in the center of Tirana.
- Aventura e madhe e pinguinit te vogël
- Aventurat e Krishtlindjeve
- Princeshë Bora dhe Njëbrirëshi
- Përrallat e Krishtlindjeve
These books will make long-lasting memories for the Festive season at your home.
I hope you find my list very useful. I would love to hear if you find any treasures from the list that become favourites with your kids too.