books for children

Child’s age: 1.5 – 3 years old

One of our all time favourites is a series about Bartholomew Bear – a little bear who is funny, emotional and naughty just like every other toddler. Short stories are brillantly illustrated by Virginia Miller – in very few pencil strokes she is able to portray little bear’s strong emotions – so well known to any parent of a toddler.

There are six books in this series (I list the best in our opinion at the beginnning):

  • Be gentle! – a story about little cat given to Bartholomew – any cat lover (any little child?) will love it
  • In a minute! – this was the last one we bought and – to my surprise – it occurred to be a classis Montessori story
  • Eat your dinner! – my children love to see what Ba makes with his dinner
  • Go to bed! – well known problem
  • On your potty!
  • I love you just the way you are

I haven’t found a source for new books so we bought used ones, but they are sturdy and came in very good condition. You can find them on Amazon. I recommend board books (they also come in form of one big standard book which is not so convenient).   Virginia Miller - Eat your Dinner
Virginia Miller “Eat your Dinner” (via)   Virginia Miller - Eat Your Dinner
Virginia Miller – Eat your Dinner   Virginia Miller - Be Gentle
Virginia Miller – Be Gentle   Virginia Miller - Be Gentle
Virginia Miller – Be Gentle

Writing this post I found out there is another (seek-and-find) book about Ba which we still don’t have – Where Is Little Black Kitten. As soon as we get it in our hands I’ll update this review!


Child’s age: 1,5 – 2 years

Today I want to share with you two of our favourite toddler books, each of them is read several times a day by my almost 2 years old son (and me).

“Bus Stops” and “My friends” are written and illustrated by Taro Gomi – one of Japan’s most prolific children’s book illustrators. Stories are simple and illustrations are just brillant. To be honest I’d love to have several of these illustrations printed and framed in my living room.   Taro Gomi - Bus Stopsvia   Taro Gomi - Bus Stops
via   Taro Gomi - Bus Stopsvia   Taro Gomi - My Friendsvia   Taro Gomi - My Friendsvia   Taro Gomi - My Friendsvia

Child’s age: 3,5 years +

It’s hard to start this post because there is so much to say about Aleksadra and Daniel Mizielińscy… We have five books illustrated by these young but already famous Polish illustrators and we love all of them!

I bought first book from Mamoko series more than a year ago but it was far too early for my then 2,5 years old son for it. What you need to know about Mamoko characters is they are not pretty. These creatures are a little bit strange, a little bit funny, very interesting but not pretty or sweet. Not at all.

By the way – “Mam oko” in Polish means “I have an eye” (exact translation) and describes quite well what these books are about – looking.

All books featured in this post except of “Maps” contains no (or almost no) texts so you can buy Polish or whatever language version you’ll find.

miasteczko_dawno temu Books pictured above are about Mamoko Town and Mamoko a Long Time Ago (my own translation ;). Each of them is big (more than A4 size) and contains 8 huge illustrations with a lot of characters and details on each of them. You can read each illustration separately or follow a story of each character pictured on following illustrations.

Next two books are much smaller (less than A5 size). The idea is to find the objects occuring on the page in the given number or beginning on the given letter. “Mam oko na liczby” is about numbers and the second one is about letters. Mamoko Letters features not only Polish words but also English and German. Both of them were eagerly read by my son, but I think the idea behind Mamoko Letters were a little bit too difficult for him – he didn’t catch the begginning letters well yet at this time.

Mizielińscy - Mamoko - Numbers Mizielińscy - Mamoko - Letters

And the biggest fascination at this moment – huge world atlas. We read it every single day since at least 2 months and my son doesn’t seem to be bored at all. These maps became starting point for many questions and discussions. As an extension we read other books describing how people around the world eat, live, work and play; I’ll feature them in another post.

This book is the only one containing texts in Polish, so if you consider buying it please find your lanuage version.

Mizielińscy - MapsMizielińscy - Maps (USA)via

Update: All books can be found on or They have published several other books, like “H.O.U.S.E.” or “D.E.S.I.G.N.” for a little bit older children – I’ve just purchased a few of them and will describe them here as well.

Today I’d like to start a new series: What’s on our bookshelves. Along with books we love and highly recommend I’ll also write about ones which were a little or big disappointment – it may be useful for those of you who come here via search engines looking for a specific title review. I’ll include them at the end of each post if there are any.   What's on our bookshelves - Child of the World

Child of the World – Montessori, Global Education for Age 3-12+

Susan Mayclin Stephenson

I bought this book basing on Kylie’s from How We Montessori recommendation. Many Montessori books are really intimidating for me despite I know the topic a little bit. I don’t know whether it’s because of language (English isn’t my mother tongue) or the amount of information they include – I feel overwhelmed and finally they gather dust. This book is totally different! It’s small, easy to read and keep Montessori simple. After reading it Montessori seems very easy and obvious way of life. This book was a great surprise for me, I highly recommend it especially for those of you who are quite new to Montessori.   What's on our bookshelves - Nature Guide Rocks and Minerals (DK Nature Guide)

Nature Guide Rocks and Minerals (DK Nature Guide)

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley

This book was featured by Kate from An Everyday Story here and I immediately bought it as I love rocks, stones and minerals like anything else. I must admit my 3,5 years son didn’t pay any attention to it but I really, really love it (it is rather book for adults or older children I think). It contains general introduction and a bit of information about each mineral. The photos are beautiful, quality of the book, paper, cover and everything is very high. I recommend it to anyone who loves stones as I do and I’ll check other books from this publisher for sure.   What's on our bookshelves - Montessori Number Work

Montessori: Number Work

Bobby and June George

This book is very well done in many aspects – it is thick and sturdy, the numbers are textured (a little bit), it has simple, yet beautiful, images. But the idea is to “introduce the numbers 1 to 10 first as quantities to count before showing them as numerals” (description from Amazon) which means there are for example two owls on the right page and when you turn the page you can see number “2” on the left page. But then on the right page you have three cars which is totally confusing. I must admit when I first opened this book and saw number “2” and three cars I thought “OMG, I must be tired if I cannot count to 2!”. That’s why I do not recommend this book and didn’t even give it to my son in order not to mess with his mind.   What's on our bookshelves - Montessori: Number WorkI get the idea of introducing pictures with quantities at first, but it should be done on flash cards for example. In this way it makes more mess than teaches numbers IMO.

If you liked Claudia Pearson’s food prints I wrote about some time ago, you may be also interested in children book illustrated by this artist. “Tribal Alphabet” contains brief descriptions (by Nan Richardson) and gorgeous illustrations (by Claudia Pearson) of tribes from all over the world.

In bold and vibrant colors, artist Claudia Pearson has created a dazzling group portrait of the world of indigenous peoples. Aimed at a young reader audience (ages three to eight), the page text is simple, direct, and informative, while the glossary in the back of the book provides valuable in-depth information for parents and older readers.

Claudia Pearson - Tribal Alphabet
Claudia Pearson - Tribal Alphabet
Claudia Pearson - Tribal Alphabet
Claudia Pearson - Tribal Alphabet

Although this book may be a little bit too complicated for my 3,5 years old son (he is not familiar with ideas of world, countries and maps yet), I’m going to buy it soon just for myself and it will wait for him patiently on the shelf.

You can see whole book on artist’s site. Book available on or Images via

My son’s age: 2 years old until now (3.5 years old)

Here are some of my son’s long time favourites – big board books illustrated by Ali Mitgutsch.

The first two books have 14 sturdy pages each (the last book has more), a little bigger than A4 sheet size. The illustrations have lot of details – funny, real-life and beautiful – which allows children to read these books over and over again. We bought them whem my son was 2 years old and now at the age of 3.5 years he still loves them. Thanks to great number of real-life scenes, people, animals, everyday objects, buildings and machines on every page they are very good books to learn talking.Ali Mitgutsch children books Ali Mitgutsch children booksAli Mitgutsch children booksThey are available on or You can buy them in whatever language you find them because they contain no or very little words. If you want to buy a few of them I would recommend buying books about specific topics (Stadt, Bergen, Lande/Dorf, Wasser), not the “collective” one like the last book pictured above – it contains some of illustrations from the first two books along with some new. Also I’ve seen two books with different cover but similar content (I guess it was “Bei Uns Im Dorf” and “Auf dem Lande”).

Here is interview with author (in German) – you can see his books in details there.