As a parent or caregiver, there are many reasons to want to raise your child to be bilingual. The benefits to being bilingual are extraordinary and even if you yourself are not fluent in a second language, there’s no reason to hold back on introducing your child to one.
It’s also worth noting that perhaps the most laudable goal of the Montessori method is the idea that, through the use of a properly prepared environment, independence building, and an education which focuses on the cosmos and one’s place in it, children can grow up to build a more peaceful world. And being bilingual is yet another big step toward making that happen!
Whether you’re raising your child in a bilingual household or simply looking to introduce your child to a second language, these Montessori-friendly bilingual books are a great place to start!
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Bilingual Montessori Books - Infants to Toddlers
When it comes to Montessori-friendly books, the idea is that young children learn best through reality rather than fantasy. This means we look for books that are rooted in reality - using photographs of real people and reflect real life, for example - versus imaginative entertainment, such as flying people or animals driving buses.
Also when considering bilingual Montessori books for babies, you want to consider books that contain high contrast images if you’re shopping for infants under 6 months old. These types of books are great at stimulating a newborn baby’s eyesight and brain development.
Some of our favorite bilingual Montessori books for infants to toddlers include:
Bilingual Bright Baby Books
These books are great in general for introducing basic concepts, like color and first words, but they’re also bilingual! Some mistakenly believe that reading bilingual books might confuse a baby, but it’s not true at all. In fact, reading bilingual stories can help your child develop stronger cognitive and problem-solving skills.
Three of my favorite bilingual Montessori baby books:
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes/Diez deditos de las manos y Diez deditos de los pies
Another great bilingual book is Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes. As everyone knows, nothing is sweeter than tiny baby fingers and chubby baby toes! This is a gorgeously simple picture book for very young children. It has a wonderful rhythm to it and the watercolor illustrations are simply stunning.
Goodnight Moon/Buenas noches, Luna
A timeless classic, Goodnight Moon/Buenas noches, Luna is an absolute must-have when it comes to bilingual board books!
Bilingual Books: English/Spanish, Ages 3-6
I Love Our Earth / Amo nuestra Tierra
This is a visually stunning book that celebrates earth in a wonderful way. With real photos displaying the majesty of nature and celebrating the diversity in the faces of children around the world, it’s a perfect read-aloud book.
All the Colors We Are/ Todos los Colores de Nuestra Piel
Another book with beautiful photos of real kids and their families. It has a straightforward approach to race and the factors that influence skin color (melanin, the sun, parents/ancestors).
The Very Hungry Caterpillar/La oruga muy hambrienta
An absolute classic that’s perfect for children learning to speak either language! It’s an easy read that translates well, making it wonderful for those who aren’t necessarily fluent in one language or the other.
A is for Airplane/A es para avion
All you need from A to Z in two languages, this book has vibrant illustrations that bring to life basic vocabulary and letters in both Spanish and English.
Firefights/Bomberos & Police Officers/Policias
I love these two books as they include photographs and simple text in English and Spanish of two important careers that so many children find fascinating - police officers and firefighters!
Bilingual Books: English/Spanish, Ages 6-9
Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match / Marisol McDonald no combina
This is such a sweet story with creative illustrations to enhance the message that being yourself is beautiful! It showcases a child from two different cultures learning to rock her own unique style.
I Can Read Silly Stories: Cat and Rat/ Gato y Rata
Not only is this book a great way to practice phonics, but it introduces beginner Spanish in a super fun and silly way.
Look How Lovely!: ¡Mira qué lindo!
This bilingual book showcases the love between grandparent and grandchild. It’s cleverly written with beautiful illustrations, and does a great job encouraging the reader to explore and celebrate one’s differences.
About Dinosaurs/Acerca de Los Dinosaurios
This is a great book from the We Both Read series, offering both a parent’s page and child’s page so you can read together! It’s wonderfully illustrated and showcases facts on many different kinds of dinosaurs.
While you’re here, be sure to also check out our suggestions on bilingual Montessori-inspired toys, too!
When it comes to reading bilingual Montessori books to your child, especially when they’re younger, repetition is key. Fortunately children love hearing the same story over and over! If you’re fluent in a second language, you can even take the story one step further by discussing what’s on the pages, alternating between languages, while also reading the story itself.
Above all else, remember to have fun with it! Reading to and with your child is a beautiful bonding time like no other.