Adaptation of the AMI 2013 international Montessori Congress Presentation in Portland, Oregon

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My friends who do not go to a Montessori school are always asking me what the difference between their school and mine is. Or they ask me to explain what a Montessori school is. After reading this book I think I can tell them.
—12-year-old Montessori student

by Susan Mayclin Stephenson
56 pages, with 140+ colored pictures
ISBN 978-1-879264-10-6



DVD The Wonderful Two’s, Montessori Infant Communities in Japan and the USA

DVD wonderful twos


I had seen this at a parent education night some 12 years ago when my youngest was in an Infant Community and have been waiting for the DVD for sharing with my child and adolescent psychiatry residents for their “Neurotypical Infant Development Course” taught each summer. This excellent introduction to Montessori A to I practices in the USA and Japan will now be shown during the lecture series. Thank you, Susan Mayclin Stephenson for this enchanting glimpse into what the youngest children can do with the support of prepared adults and a prepared environment!
—Nora McNamara, MD

This DVD contains 50 minutes of actual AMI Infant Community footage in Osaka, Japan and Denver, Colorado. This and other Montessori DVD’s and books are available from many places, including from Michael Olaf Montessori Company:

The Joyful Child: Montessori, Global Wisdom for Birth to Three

joyful child coverThe Joyful Child book was based on the text in the Joyful Child Michael Olaf catalog, the author spending a year working long distance with Silvana Montanaro, MD and AMI Montessori teacher trainer, in Rome, with the help of a mutual friend Aika Watanuki. The basic text is refined and updated, and there are several additional sections included.

It is now being used as a text for Human Development classes for adolescents, a text in university courses, a review for Montessori teachers at all levels, and for parenting classes around the world. It is being translated into several languages by AMI Montessori organizations and others.

It can be ordered directly from the publisher ( ) from Amazon, or many other places. For more information see this page:

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

child of the world coverThis book has been found to be the best parent-education work for Montessori schools. It combines theory and practical every day ideas for using Montessori in the home. It is also a good over view of the Montessori 3-6 and 6-12 classroom practices, of value to teachers at all levels, and university students studying educational methods.

It can be ordered directly from the publisher ( ) from Amazon, or many other places. For more information see this page:



For several reasons the “Essential Montessori” book/catalog was eventually divided into two publications, “The Joyful Child” for families with infants and children under the age of three, and “Child of the World” for parents and teachers with children from age 3-12+. An oil painter, Susan created two paintings each year, one for each publication.



Eventually a full size catalog was created, illustrated from both Susan’s drawings and photographs. Intending to write a book on Montessori for parents, Susan decided it had more of a chance to red if little snippets of information were added to the catalog instead. So a combination book/catalog of materials for children for birth age 12 was created, “Essential Montessori”. The picture on the front of this catalog is that of a child’s drawing of Egypt, complete with two pyramids at the top, an oasis on the left (with real grass taped to the paper), the blue Nile River, and drawings of the construction of a pyramid.





In 1982 two teenage girls, with a level of confidence and initiative that surprised even their parents, started a tiny shop to provide high-quality toys and books for children because they could not find anything good enough in the whole San Francisco Bay Area for their new baby brother. They named it after the inspiration for the project, Michael Olaf. See more of the story here:


The first Michael Olaf catalog, created at the request of Montessori teachers who had discovered Michael Olaf during visits to the San Francisco area, was just 5 sheets of paper, collated on top of the grant piano and stapled in one corner. It contained a list and information about the first “practical life” products, and wooden toys. Soon people asked for pictures so Susan drew them.

The catalog below was typed on a computer, Susan drawing the pictures, the pages laid out on graph paper taped to the dining room window. Then printed and stapled at home. Who knew that this humble beginning would grow to affect so many children, families, and schools around the world



Author, AMI Montessori 0-3, 3-6, 6-12 directress, speaker and consultant,
Susan Mayclin Stephenson

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