From a Montessori perspective, young children are fascinated by the things they see around them: people, animals, plants, vehicles, household objects. They desire to know more about them and are excited to recognize the familiar.

Furthermore, young children are processing so much new information on a regular basis, we want to make sure the information that is given makes sense and is not confusing. By sticking with factual information, it helps gain appreciation for all the amazing things that happen in everyday life.

What makes a book Montessori inspired?

  • Realistic, un-busy photos or pictures
  • Straightforward, real life information and vocabulary
  • Relatable, everyday activities

Included are some books that might not fall under these criteria, but are still quality literature. Having books with elements of fantasy can be a valued part of a very young child’s book collection. In these cases, I might point it out to child (“Bears don’t wear clothes! How silly!”) and keep those books limited in number. If a book listed does contain some unrealistic elements, I included an explanation with the book.

An additional criteria that I look for is diversity in terms of gender, family makeup, race, culture, language, and ability.

This list of books is broken down into these categories: animals, people, transportation, nature/household objects, songs, interactive, and winter. These categories are further divided as needed.

I am constantly updating this list so feel free to check back as needed! Enjoy!



  • A Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na
  • Animals by Roger Priddy
  • Animal Talk: Mexican Folk Art Animal Sounds in English and Spanish by Cynthia Weill
  • Baby Animal Families by Gyo Fujikawa
  • Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See? by Eric Carle (some of the animals come on unrealistic colors, but the sequencing in the book is enjoyed)
  • Country Animals by Lucy Cousins
  • Creature Colors by Andrew Zuckerman
  • Daytime Nighttime by William Low
  • Desert Dwellers by Holly Karapetkova
  • How Do Animals Use? by Luana Mitten
  • Howl, Growl, Moo, Whoo by Molly Carroll
  • I Am a Bunny by Ole Risom (the bunny wears clothes, but engages in activities bunnies might do; the illustrations and their details seem to fascinate babies)
  • I Can Roar by Frank Asch
  • Me Gustan Los Animales I Like Animals by Rourke Board Books
  • My Animals Mis Animales by Rebecca Emberley
  • My Big Animal Book by Roger Priddy
  • Peekaboo by Giuliano Ferri
  • Pond by Lizi Boyd
  • Que Veo En El Mar? What Do You See in the Sea? by Luana Mitten
  • Tails Chasing Tails by Matthew Porter
  • The Animals of the Chinese New Year by Jen Sookfong Lee
  • The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri
  • The Mitten by Jan Brett
  • Time For Bed by Mem Fox
  • What Do You Say? by Holly Karapetkova
  • Who’s in the Garden? by Phillis Gershator
  • Who’s Listening? by Cindy Rodriguez
  • Who’s That Eating? by Kingfisher
  • Who’s That Jumping? by Kingfisher
  • Who’s That Playing? by Kingfisher
  • Who’s That Roaring? by Kingfisher


  • Baby’s First Book of Birds & Colors by Phyllis Limbacher Tildes
  • Bird Babies by Rookie Toddler
  • Bird Color by Allison Hill Spencer
  • Birds by Jill McDonald
  • Birds by Ruth Musgrave
  • Black Bird Yellow Sun by Steve Light
  • Bring on the Birds by Susan Stockdale
  • Busy Birdies by John Schindel
  • Ducks Quack by Rebecca Stromstad Glaser
  • Flamingo Grows Up by Smithsonian Institution
  • Hooray for Birds by Lucy Cousins
  • If I Were A Bird by Shelley Gill
  • Little Chick by Lauren Thompson
  • Look! Birds! by Stephanie Calmenson
  • Mommy! Mommy! by Taro Gomi
  • My Colors Book by Patricia Mitter
  • Peck Peck Peck by Molly Carroll
  • Winging It by Cindy Rodriguez


  • Kittens by Bright Baby
  • Sleepy Cat by Sterling Publishing
  • Up Cat by Hazel Hutchins


  • Busy Doggies by John Schindel
  • Contrary Dogs by Elo
  • Doggies by Sandra Boynton
  • Heads and Tails by Carli Davidson
  • Let’s Find Momo by Andrew Knapp (great introductory I spy book)
  • Shake Wiggle and Roll by Carli Davidson
  • The Babies and Doggies Book by John Schindel
  • Up Dog by H.J. Hutchins
  • Whistle For Willie by Ezra Jack Keats


  • Baby Touch and Feel Farm by DK
  • Barnyard Banter by Denise Fleming
  • Let’s Go Visiting by Sue Williams
  • Moo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton


  • A Monarch Butterfly Story by Melissa Kim
  • Backyard Bugs by Jill McDonald
  • Bugs by Eva Steele-Saccio
  • Bumble Bee by Margaret Wise Brown
  • Butterflies and Caterpillars by Anita Ganeri
  • City Bugs by Antonia Banyard
  • I Am A Little Spider by Marta Prims
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (the caterpillar eats some unrealistic food, but children enjoy the sequencing and holes in the book; also I correct cocoon to chrysalis)
  • What Happens Next? Caterpillar to Butterfly by Rookie Toddler


  • Animal Babies on Mountains by Jennifer Schofield
  • Big Cats by National Geographic
  • Busy Gorillas by John Schindel
  • Lion Cubs by Planet Earth
  • On My Own by Miela Ford
  • What Is Baby Gorilla Doing? by Christena Nippert-Eng, John Dominski, and Miguel Martinez


  • Asi Me Siento That’s How I Feel by Rourke Books
  • Baby Faces by Margaret Miller
  • Baby Touch Your Nose! by DK
  • Babies Around the World by Lemay Puck
  • Bath! Bath! Bath! by Douglas Florian
  • Besos for Baby by Jen Arena
  • Blast Off Baby Bundt by Jamie Harper
  • Carry Me by Rena D. Grossman
  • Clive and His Babies by Jessica Spanyol
  • Cradle Me by Debby Slier
  • Daddy, Papa, and Me by Leslea Newman
  • Where is My Belly Button?/Donde Esta El Ombliguito? by Karen Katz
  • Dos Anos/Toddler Two by Anastasia Suen
  • Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers
  • Global Babies series
  • Grandpa and Me by Karen Katz
  • Hooray for Hands by Susan Pearson
  • I Am So Brave! by Stephen Krensky
  • I Can by Helen Oxenbury
  • I Can, Can You? by Marjorie W. Pitzer
  • I Can Do It Myself! by Stephen Krensky
  • I’m a Mail Carrier by Brian Biggs
  • I’m a Veterinarian by Brian Biggs
  • In the Rain by Elizabeth Spurr
  • In the Woods by Elizabeth Spurr
  • Little You by Richard Van Camp
  • Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn
  • Making Faces by Abrams Appleseed
  • Mommy, Momma, and Me by Leslea Newman
  • My Face Book (comes in many different languages)
  • My Up and Down and All Around Book by Marjorie W. Pitzer
  • Peekaboo Baby by Margaret Miller
  • Peekaboo Morning by Rachel Isadora
  • Play Baby Play by Marilyn Janovitz
  • Read Read Baby by Anna Bardaus
  • The Babies and Doggies Book by John Shindel
  • Smile! by Roberta Grobel Intrater
  • Splash by Roberta Grobel Intrater
  • Watch Me Grow! by Flowerpot Press
  • What Can I Do in the Sun? by Anna Grossnickle Hines
  • Where’s The Baby? Donde Esta el Bebe? by Cheryl Christian
  • Who’s Knees Are These? by Jabari Asim
  • Will You Wear a Blue Hat? by Ken Karp



  • Amazing Airplanes by Tony Mitton
  • Busy Airport by Rebecca Finn
  • Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering by Ruth Spiro
  • Planes by Byron Barton
  • Planes Go by Steve Light
  • Planes Soar by Rebecca Stromstad Glaser

Boats/Water Transport

  • Boats by Byron Barton
  • Boats Are Busy by Sara Gillingham
  • Boats! Boats! Boats! by Joann Cleland
  • Boats Go by Steve Light
  • Super Submarines by Tony Mitton
  • Whose Boat? by Toni Buzzeo

Fire Trucks

  • At the Fire House by Brian Biggs
  • Fire Engine by DK Publishing
  • Fire Engine No 9 by Mike Austin
  • I’m A Fire Fighter by Brian Biggs
  • Touch and Feel Fire Engine by DK


  • B is for Bulldozer: a Construction ABC by June Sobel
  • Build a Block by Christopher Franceschelli
  • Bus Stops by Tarō Gomi
  • Busy Builders by Sterling Children’s Books
  • Can You See What I See? Cars & Trucks by Walter Wick
  • Car Car Truck Jeep by Katrina Charman
  • Cars and Trucks by Peter Curry
  • Cars Go by Steve Light
  • Construction Trucks by Betsy Imershein
  • Counting Machines by Rookie Toddler
  • Dig Dig Digging by Margaret Mayo
  • Diggers Go by Steve Light
  • Dig It by Kate Riggs
  • Dig It Dump It Push It! by Holly Karapetkova
  • Wheels At Work series by Cocoretto
  • First 100 Machines by Bright Baby
  • Machines at Work by Byron Barton
  • My Big Truck Book by Roger Priddy
  • My Car by Byron Barton
  • Red Light, Green Light by Yumi Heo
  • Ride the Big Machines in Winter by Carmen Mok
  • Road Work by Sally Sutton
  • Things That Go by Priddy Books
  • Trucks by Byron Barton
  • Trucks by Meg Greve
  • Trucks Go by Steve Light


  • Roaring Rockets by Tony Mitton
  • Rocket Science for Babies by Chris Ferrie


  • Busy Railroad by Rebecca Finn
  • Choo Choo by Peter Horacek
  • Freight Train by Donald Crews
  • Inside Freight Train by Donald Crews
  • My Big Train Book by Roger Priddy
  • Terrific Trains by Tony Mitton
  • That’s Not My Train by Fiona Watt
  • Trains Chug by Rebecca Stromstad Glaser
  • Trains Go by Steve Light
  • What’s in My Train? by Linda Bleck
  • Whoo Whoo Here Comes the Trains by Molly Carroll


  • Air by Kyla Ryman
  • Baby’s Big Busy Book by Karen Katz
  • Baby’s First Words by Stella Blackstone
  • Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton
  • First 100 Words by Roger Priddy
  • My First Signs by Two Little Hands Productions
  • My Clothes Mi Ropa by Rebecca Emberley
  • My Colors Mis Colores by Rebecca Emberley
  • My Little Word Book: Mi Libro Pequeno de Palabras by Roger Priddy
  • My Room Mi Cuarto by Rebecca Emberley
  • My School Mi Escuela by Rebecca Emberley
  • My Toys Mis Juguetes by Rebecca Emberley
  • My Turn to Learn Opposites by Natalie Marshall
  • Searching for Circles by Joann Cleland
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Hounds of Baskerville by Jennifer Adams
  • Sizes by Luana Mitten
  • Quiet Loud by Leslie Patricelli


  • A Pile of Leaves by Jason Fulfordis
  • A Seed Needs Sun by Kate Riggs
  • Baby Loves Green Energy by Ruth Spiro
  • First Book of Sushi by Amy Wilson Sanger
  • Food by Holly Ann Shelowitz and Naomi Kleinberg
  • Forest Baby by Laurie Elmquist
  • How Do Apples Grow? by Jill McDonald
  • How Things Grow by Eric Carle
  • I Can Grow a Flower by Dawn Sirett
  • I Like Berries, Do You? by Marjorie W. Pitzer
  • I Like Fruit by Lorena Siminovich
  • I Like Vegetables by Lorena Siminovich
  • In the Garden by Elizabeth Spurr
  • In the Garden by Leslie Bockel
  • Leaves by Carol Lawrence
  • My Food Mi Comida by Rebeccca Emberley
  • My Fridge by Margie and Jimbo
  • My Garden Mi Jardin by Rebecca Emberley
  • Plow! Plant! Grow! by
  • Squirrel Round and Round by Belle Yang
  • Thank You, Trees! by Gail Karwoski
  • The Book of Fall by Agnese Baruzzi
  • Vegetables by Sara Anderson
  • Yum Yum Dim Sum by Amy Sanger Wilson


  • Five Little Ducks by Raffi
  • Head Shoulders Knees and Toes Cabeza, Hombros, Piernas, Pies by Annie Kubler
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider by Annie Kubler
  • Row Row Row Your Boat by Annie Kubler
  • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star by Caroline Church


  • Can You See What I See? series by Walter Wick
  • Good Night Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Bedtime Story by Mariam Gates
  • Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson
  • Touch the Brightest Star by Christie Matheson
  • Yoga Bug: Simple Poses for Little Ones by Sarah Jane Hinder


  • Baby Loves Winter! by Karen Katz
  • Happy Bird Day by Carl R. Sams
  • No Two Alike by Keith Baker
  • Ride the Big Machines in Winter by Carmen Mok
  • Snow by Uri Shulevitz
  • The Animals of the Chinese New Year by Jen Sookfong Lee
  • The Mitten by Jan Brett
  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
  • Winter by Bright Baby