The idea behind the board book collection was to attract even the youngest readers (from as young as 21/2 years old); to encourage them to discover subjects and areas that interest them (nature, animals, shapes, etc.) and to help them classify the things that surround them. The series is comprised of ten little books. Two are instructive, teaching shapes and numbers; five are exploratory and describe settings that are fun to discover (farm animals, wild animals, the backyard and its insects, the vegetable garden) and three are short stories about the experience of birth in nature (the birth of a little bird, of a butterfly and of a flower). Narration becomes the background for the text since touching and picture readings are the primary means of interpretation. A guiding character accompanies the child throughout each developing story until the end, where there is a summary of all the characters introduced in the book. Consistent with the Montessori approach, the child is encouraged to interact independently with his or her book. For example, in some cases, the child is asked to use a finger to trace the outline of a shape and notice its characteristics (round, sharp-edged, jagged, etc.). In others, he or she is asked to use a finger to follow a path in order to discover hidden characters and learn to associate them with their most distinctive features (the lion's tail, the rabbit's ears, the colours of vegetables, etc.).
My First Book of the Vegetable Garden by Chiara Piroddi