Skip to main content

Montessori Letter Work and Montessori Number Work, written by Bobby and June George, illustrated by Alyssa Nassar

Two of my three children attended Montessori preschools, but I have to confess to not paying too much attention to the methods of teaching employed in the classroom. I learned more about the Montessori method reading Montessori Letter Work and Montessori Number Work by Bobby and June George, founders of the Baan Dek Montessori School in Sioux Falls, SD, than I did over the combined years my kids attended these schools. But, that is solely a reflection on me and not the schools or the method... Once again, AbramsAppleseed blazes a new path in the world of board books with these  two titles. And, once again, AbramsAppleseed fulfills their promise to "foster the development of its young readers and engage them and their adults in artful, beautifully conceived books." Montessori Letter Work and Montessori Number Work are both visually appealing and educational in an innovative way that makes perfect sense when reading to and teaching toddlers. 
Both books begin with a letter to parents by Bobby and June George that explains the Montessori method of teaching, which has been successful for over a century now, that focuses on the concrete before the abstract. Numbers are presented as a quantity to count and with a texture to trace that corresponds with the name of the number. TheMontessori method to teaching letters is even more innovative. Learning the sound a letter makes ("b" makes a "buh sound) and the shape of the letter come before learning the name of the letter and how to recite the alphabet. In fact, the letters in Montessori Letter Work are arranged by the motion with which you write the letter rather than alphabetically. Montessori Letter Work provides phonetics to pronounce, a texture to trace and a reference word to provide context.

What makes Montessori Letter Work and Montessori Number Work appeal to kids and adults are the colorful, slightly retro illustrations by Alyssa Nassner. It's hard to make an ABC or 123 book stand out, especially without sacrificing the educational content, by Nassner's artwork and the fantastic book design by Megan Bennett do make these inventive books stand out. From the long, rectangular shape and the tabs in Montessori Number Work to the background of the art, which looks like it was painted on wood, enhancing the tactile aspects of the books, the attention to detail is evident. Add these titles to the list of the only board books your infant will need.

Source: Review Copy


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…