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Written by Simone Davies

Illustrated by Hiyoko Imai

When I looked at the cover of this book I was intrigued. It was simple with a kind of unique illustration of a shelf with activities, and it was written for parents of toddlers—encouraging signs. Then I looked at the table of contents which was 3.33 pages long. Hmmm. Busy parents with small toddlers. Looks a little off-putting to me. So, I flipped through the book. I like photos and illustrations. There were very few photos and quite a few illustrations, but lots of words to read in this 248- page volume. Oh boy!

I made myself look more closely, and what I found was delightfully appealing. That huge table of contents I discovered was because the author listed each topic in each chapter, so it looked a lot more daunting than it truly is. Many of the topics listed are half a page to two pages at most. A parent can easily read a quick snippet and put the book down. They can also easily look up a specific topic that they are interested in because the topics are listed in such detail.

After looking more carefully, I really like the design. Simone Davies is very thorough. Her knowledge, understanding, and enjoyment of this age group is very apparent, and she shares it well with her audience. Often toddlers are misunderstood and so behave in ways that parents find difficult. Davies touches on some key points when thinking about toddlers. The first two chapters give parents valuable information about this stage in a child’s development and a brief introduction to Montessori. The rest of the book helps parents see their role as changing from a servant during infancy to a guide during toddlerhood and beyond. She brilliantly describes how to create a home environment that supports toddler success, both physically and emotionally, with furnishings and activities, as well as discipline.

The Montessori Toddler is a great resource for parents of infants, so that they can prepare for toddlerhood and for parents of toddlers who are already in the midst of toddlerhood.