My beloved Italian grandmother Lina worked with Maria Montessori for close to forty years, and this long friendship inspired me to make Puzz and Lina. Combining a story about a girl and her cat with geometric shapes that build into a puzzle, this story-book puzzle offers a non-threatening introduction to spatial thinking. The spatial concepts of relative size, intersection, and interlocking in 3D space are as much a part of the illustrations as they are of the puzzle. Montessori’s principle of learning through play provides kids with both story-telling and spatial skills, a rare combination: gone is the separation between “right” and “left” brain.

There are three versions: the easy one is for anyone older than 3, the medium and hard versions are for kids from 9 to 99. Anyone can play with Puzz and Lina!

Francesca Talenti

This is the diploma my grandmother received in 1910, for training in the Montessori Method.

Over the years I’ve earned a number of distinctions myself, but I’m most proud of my grandmother’s diploma, with Maria Montessori’s signature!