The most Beautiful Books at 22 Months and Why We Limit Fantasy Books for our Toddler

1. Mama, is it Summer Yet?  By: Nikki McClure

2. Animalium  By: Katie Scott and Jenny Brook

3. Little Night Cat  By: Sonja Danowski

4. I am a Bunny  By: Ole Risom and Richard Scary

5. Whistle for Willie  By: Ezra Jack Keats

6. Plant a Little Seed  By: Bonnie Christiensen

7. Louie  By: Ezra Jack Keats

8. Home  By: Carson Ellis

These are the books that M and I are really loving right now. Most of them are not fantasy based as M is not old enough to tell the difference between fantasy and reality, but who can resist I am a Bunny. 

Since the book I am a Bunny features a talking bunny as the main character, I classify it as fantasy. I loved fairy tales and other fantasy books as a child and I am in no way passing judgement upon anyone who loves to read fantasy books to their children.  I am simply mentioning the fact that we have decided to keep fantasy to a minimum and focus mostly on literature that depicts true information about the world in which we live.

If I come across a fantasy book that is beautifully illustrated, I am very likely to go ahead and rent it from the library.

I was recently reading M the book Mother Earth and Her Children: A Quilted Fairy Tale ( I love this book so muchand he asked me what the children living in the roots were (he pointed at one of the children and said, “what’s that?”).  I found myself feeling conflicted when I said, “This is a child who lives in the roots of the trees until it is time for spring.” I felt weird about it because M completely believed me.  I realized in that moment why Maria Montessori believed in providing young children with the truth about our world rather than providing them with fantasy.

Children between the ages of 0-6 are sponges for information and are constantly taking on new understandings about their surroundings. It feels a little funny to fill children’s minds with false information about their world. I want M to fill his mind with the truth about nature, human feelings and needs and how things like cars and trucks work. When he is older, around age 5, he will be ready to enjoy fantasy books because he will understand that they are not real.  So, for now, I look for non-fiction books or fiction books that, for the most part, represent reality.

What are your favorite books?