by Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Illustrated by Raquel Martín
When I was younger, I went to a Montessori school, so I thought I was familiar with the Montessori technique. Although I did know about the method, I certainly knew very little about the woman who developed it.
Maria Montessori, a new board book in the Little People, BIG DREAMS series offers a condensed biography of this pioneering educator designed to be read aloud to babies and toddlers.
Although Maria loved to learn, she thought school was boring and made up games to enliven lessons. She was the only girl in an all-boys technical institute, and the first woman in Italy to study medicine. At times, she was segregated from the male students and had to study cadavers alone. In her first job, working at a hospital for disabled children, she changed the approach to treatment with wondrous effects. She realized her methods would work for all children, and she opened a school. Maria taught her technique all over the world, helping make learning more fun and developing thoughtful learners and critical thinkers. Vegara’s story doesn’t just capture Maria’s life but holds out a promise of what we all can be.
Martín’s illustrations are fabulous, colorful and vibrant, and they reflect gender, race, and ethnic diversity.
Both young readers and the people who read to them will learn from and enjoy this interesting biography of Maria Montessori, and it would be a great addition to any child’s home library.
Thank you to Netgalley and Quarto Publishing Group, Frances Lincoln Children’s Books for providing an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review.