Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to vocabulary. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about vocabulary.
Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
We hope this list of kids books about vocabulary can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!
Here’s a puppy, there’s a kitten . . . a yawning fawn and chuckling ducklings
The perfect introduction to animal names and animal groups, Chuckling Ducklings features baby animals of every variety. The bouncing text and adorable illustrations will become a favorite with kids as they learn the special baby names that match all the grown-up animals they know and love.
From the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling authors of P IS FOR PTERODACTYL comes another hilarious, fresh look at the English language!The hero had super vision.The hero had supervision.Man, a tea sounds great.Manatee sounds great!Sir Francies BaconSir, France is bakin’!What is going on here?!You can’t believe everything you hear! A single word can have many different meanings. And sometimes two words that sound alike can be spelled completely differently. Ptolemy the pterodactyl is back to show us all how absurd and fun language can be when homophones, homonyms, and tricky punctuation are at play!No Reading Allowed allows children and their parents to laugh together while also learning something new. Perfect for baby gifts, birthday gifts, teacher gifts, and anyone who finds humor in the absurdity of the English language.
Discover new favorite critters while learning new words with this adorable and educational animal book for kids!From the #1 bestselling science author for kids comes a simple and colorful introduction to the first 100 animal words every baby should know. With 100 colorful illustrations to look at and talk about, this is the perfect learning tool for your little animal lover.Each spread in this adorable primer focuses on 8 to 12 animal words–from axolotl to armadillo, from cassowary to krill, from tardigrade to tadpole and more! This bright and engaging book is the perfect way to introduce the words every budding zoologist needs.
BabyLit® is a fashionable way to introduce your toddler to the world of classic literature. With clever, simple text by Jennifer Adams, paired with stylish design and illustrations by Sugar’s Alison Oliver, these books are a must for every savvy parent’s nursery library.
Do you ever wish English was eez-ee-yer to spell? Ben Franklin and Noah Webster did! Debut author Beth Anderson and the New York Times bestselling illustrator of I Dissent, Elizabeth Baddeley, tell the story of two patriots and their attempt to revolutionize the English alphabet. Once upon a revolutionary time, two great American patriots tried to make life easier. They knew how hard it was to spell words in English. They knew that sounds didn’t match letters. They knew that the problem was an inconvenient English alphabet. In 1786, Ben Franklin, at age eighty, and Noah Webster, twenty-eight, teamed up. Their goal? Make English easier to read and write. But even for great thinkers, what seems easy can turn out to be hard. Children today will be delighted to learn that when they “sound out” words, they are doing eg-zakt-lee what Ben and Noah wanted.
ABC Spanish - Kids learn the alphabet and Spanish words for animals in this charming book. Pairing each letter of the Spanish alphabet with the Spanish word for a popular animal and its English translation, ABC Spanish is a gorgeously illustrated, engaging read that makes learning the alphabet and Spanish words fun for the entire family. The included pronunciation guide helps teach the proper pronunciation of each animal, making this book a perfect introduction to the Spanish language.
E Is for Easter - Introduce your brilliant baby to the ABCs with this colorfully illustrated primer about the joys of Easter. In the latest alphabet primer from artist Greg Paprocki, Easter and the rites of spring are celebrated with Paprocki’s wonderful colorful and vintage-looking illustrations. Your toddlers can enjoy illustrations of such things as the Easter Bunny, baskets overflowing with candy, children decorating Easter eggs, an Easter egg hunt, and beautiful springtime flowers. Part of the BabyLit Alphabet Series. Greg Paprocki works full-time as an illustrator and book designer. In addition to illustrating several Curious George books, he’s provided illustrations for a number of books for Gibbs Smith, including A Is for Atom, S Is for Santa, B Is for Boo, S Is for School, and The Big Book of Superheroes. He began his career as an advertising art director after studying fine art and graphic design at the University of Nebraska. He lives in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The Spelling Bee Before Recess - The students were squirming but none made a sound, as the spelling bee entered its championship round. It’s right before recess, and the annual school spelling bee is down to just three spellers: Cornelius the Genius, Smart Ruby, and The Slugger, who never strikes out. Round after round, the words whizz at them, but with one minute left until recess, there’s still no winner. Who will triumph? It all comes down to one final word, and a curveball that no one sees coming! Deborah Lee Rose’s clever rhyming text packs a laugh-out-loud wallop with words that young readers will enjoy spelling and reading aloud again and again. Fun and whimsical illustrations by Carey F. Armstrong-Ellis provide the perfect balance of humor and suspense as readers find out whether The Slugger will hit a grand slam or finally strike out. The book includes three spelling lists that can be used for spelling bees at home, in school, at the library, or for community events. An author’s note describes why and how words were chosen.
Les Misérables - Introduce your bébéto the world of Victor Hugo with 10 words and phrases from the classic Les Miserables.Colorful, eye-catching illustrations of characters and objects from the novel pair with French translations you’ll want to hear your baby say again and again.
Introduces in rhyming text the collective names used for various animal groups.
“Inspired by one of the oldest traditional games of chance, this book will introduce your little one to their first English and Spanish words”
Inspired by Caldecott Honor book Flora and the Flamingo, this series of board books is perfect for the very youngest Flora fans. When a new feathered friend seems so different from her, Flora discovers that opposites, in fact, attract! Featuring fold-out pages and Molly Idle’s graceful artwork, this adorable book of opposites will delight young children as they master new words and concepts.
Learn all about the US presidents with this fun and colorful board book perfect for leaders-in-training! Leading our country. Helping you and me. Keeping all fifty states safe, happy, and free. Little presidents have a great big job. Now even the youngest patriots can learn about America’s presidential history with this bright and playful board book. Highlighting ten of the most memorable presidents—and featuring all forty-four on the last page—parents and presidents-in-training alike will love sharing this fun primer full of age-appropriate facts, leadership skills, and White House history.
From author-illustrator Anya Glazer comes a humorous picture book for dinosaur fans and word lovers of all ages!
Thesaurus is an ordinary dinosaur. A very ordinary dinosaur . . . who just happens to love words. And the other dinos know that’s just who he is. But behind his verbose and fancy language, Thesaurus has also been keeping something absolutely, very, extremely top secret.
But as his lies begin to stack up, someone begins to notice. And if the other dinos discover what Thesaurus is hiding, they won’t think he’s such a normal dinosaur after all.
My First 100 Art Words - The perfect primer of essential STEAM words for your little genius from the #1 Science author, Chris Ferrie! Babies and toddlers are curious and ready to learn! Introduce them to art words that go beyond the basics. From painting to photography, from music to theater, from literature to history and more, this is the bright and simple introduction to the smart words every budding scholar needs!
The Word Collector - Overview From the beloved bestselling creator of The Dot and our own Happy Dreamer comes an inspiring story about the transformative and profound power of words. A New York Times Bestseller Named an Outstanding Literary Work for Children by the NAACP Some people collect stamps. Some people collect coins. Some people collect art. And Jerome? Jerome collected words . . . In this extraordinary new tale from Peter H. Reynolds, Jerome discovers the magic of the words all around him — short and sweet words, two-syllable treats, and multisyllable words that sound like little songs. Words that connect, transform, and empower. From the creator of The Dot, I Am Human, and Happy Dreamer comes a celebration of finding your own words — and the impact you can have when you share them with the world.
TouchThinkLearn: ABC - Using the same innovative production technique and brilliant aesthetic cheered by parents, educators, and children alike in the acclaimed TouchThinkLearn series, here is an alphabet that literally adds a new dimension to learning. Raised die-cut pieces nestled in mirroring indented cut-outs engage readers on both visual and tactile levels. An impressive gift, this exquisitely executed design object is above all else a fabulously fun and educationally essential alphabet book.
A Tower of Giraffes - A drove of pigs, a romp of otters, an ostentation of peacocks, and a tower of giraffes. . . . This clever book introduces young readers to some of the words we use to refer to animals in a group. The ink, watercolor, and fabric collage art is brightly colored and uniquely sets this fun book apart from the crowd. Each page presents information about an animal and its group behavior, such as how geese fly in a V-shape and honk to encourage the leaders, and that sometimes tens of thousand of flamingos meet up in one location. Young readers will have a great time and create a wellspring of new vocabulary words.
A blue rhinoceros unabashedly subjects himself to undignified elements in order to demonstrate sixteen pairs of rhyming words, from “caring” and “daring” to “stinky” and “inky.”
The Cherokee community is grateful for blessings and challenges that each season brings. This is modern Native American life as told by an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation. The word otsaliheliga (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah) is used by members of the Cherokee Nation to express gratitude. Beginning in the fall with the new year and ending in summer, follow a full Cherokee year of celebrations and experiences. Written by a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, this look at one group of Native Americans is appended with a glossary and the complete Cherokee syllabary, originally created by Sequoyah.
Dance through the alphabet from Aardvark to Zebra!
Hey! Is that your toe tapping? Well, go on! Strut your stuff!
Shake your boots with newts, lambada with llamas, and slide with sloths!
A lively romp through the alphabet with vibrant art and cheerfully rhyming text, ABC Dance! is a joy for children and grown-ups to read aloud together. Now get your dancing shoes on!
Welcome to Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever! Featuring everything from an airport to a grocery store, this fun-filled book has hundreds of objects clearly labeled so that little readers can expand their vocabularies. In print for fifty years, this classic book has sold over 5 million copies around the world and brought billions of new words to little ones across the globe. Learning has never been more fun!
Add to your little genius’s knowledge with the essential first words related to all things nature! From the #1 science author for kids, Chris Ferrie!
From the #1 bestselling science author for kids comes a simple and colorful introduction to the first 100 nature words every baby should know. Each spread in this nature primer focuses on 8 to 12 words related to nature all over the planet—from glacier to algae to vertebrate, and so much more!
Chris Ferrie’s latest offering is the perfect way to introduce basic concepts to even the youngest naturalists. After all, it’s never too early to learn about the world around us!
Stegothesaurus - Stegothesaurus has little in common with his fellow dinosaurs until he meets an allosaurus that seems as hungry for synonyms as he is.
My Very First Book of Shapes - Can you find what is round? What is square? In this timeless new split-pageboard book, children can find the bottom half of a page that matches the top half. Find the right pairs, and you will learn to identify all kinds of shapes. From dome-shaped ladybugs to diamond- shaped kites, this clever board book makes learning fun.
My First 100 Construction Words - Chris Ferrie once again brings complex ideas to babies with My First 100 Construction Words. Now your little genius is ready to learn the essential first construction words!From the #1 bestselling science author for kids comes a simple and colorful introduction to the first 100 construction words every baby should know. With 100 colorful illustrations to look at and talk about, this is the perfect tool for your budding builder.Each spread in this adorable primer focuses on 8 to 12 words related to the building and construction–from hard hat to insulation, millwright to welder, trowel to rigging and more! Chris Ferrie’s latest offering is the perfect way to introduce basic concepts to even the youngest readers–after all, it’s never too early to become a construction enthusiast!
We’re keeping tabs on Maisy! Explore the many things in her world – indoors and out – with two tabbed board books that babies and toddlers will love. Wondering what toys Maisy likes to play with at home? Just look for the tab that shows a puzzle piece and turn straight to the page. Who are Maisy’s favorite pets? Find the tab with a fish on it and discover some animals both expected and surprising. From Maisy’s living room (look out for the cactus!) to her bathroom, whether she’s eating or making music or dressing up, the names and pictures of things in Maisy’s house will be delightfully familiar to little readers.
The perfect primer of essential STEAM words for your little genius from the #1 Science author, Chris Ferrie!
Babies and toddlers are curious and ready to learn! Introduce them to engineering words that go beyond the basics.
From chemical to computer, from electrical to environmental, from civil to industrial and more, this is the bright and simple introduction to the smart words every budding scholar needs!
Inspired by one of the most recognized symbols of Dia de Muertos or “Day of the Dead,” a holiday that celebrates life and remembers the dearly departed, this book will introduce little ones to emotional expressions and their first English and Spanish words.
A silly pirate skeleton seeks to put its bones back together in this rhyming romp beneath the waves. Cast a spyglass ‘round here while breakers curl and pound here. There’s treasure to be found here – I feel it in my bones! A stormy night at sea has uncovered some long-buried secrets and surprises. Is that the mast of a shipwreck? A faded pirate hat? And what’s that hiding in the sand? A mandible and a clavicle, phalanges and femurs, a tibia and a fibula – could there be a set of bones scattered across the ocean floor? And who might they belong to? A jaunty rhyme takes readers on an underwater scavenger hunt as a comical skeleton tries to put itself back together piece by piece. Make no bones about it: this rollicking read-aloud will have young ones learning anatomy without even realizing it.
Big, brainy science for the littlest listeners.
Accurate enough to satisfy an expert, yet simple enough for baby, this clever board book explores the climate of our planet and the need to protect it for all babies. Beautiful, visually stimulating illustrations complement age-appropriate language to encourage baby’s sense of wonder. Parents and caregivers may learn a thing or two as well!
I Am a Baby - “I am a baby, this is my crib, this is my high chair, this is my bib.” Photos of happy babies and words that encourage make this an irresistible read-aloud for every child and family. From the author of the critically acclaimed A Kiss Means I Love You and Show Me Happy comes a delightful approach to visual learning.
My Big Train Book - This updated edition of an all-time Priddy Books favorite is the perfect addition to the bookshelf of any train-crazy toddler! From high-speed trains to steam trains, passenger trains to freight trains, My Big Train Book is packed with photographs of all different kinds of trains from over the world to delight and captivate young readers. Designed in Roger Priddy’s classic, timeless format, this book has enduring appeal and educational value that sustains fun, stimulating reading, again and again. Also available: My Big Animal Book, My Big Truck Book
Stop Pop - This interactive early reading book invites children to flip the pages to reveal a different word and picture. The use of word families helps children to recognise similarities between words that rhyme, and creates connections between words with similar long or short vowel sounds.
Weather Words and What They Mean - The perfect introduction to how we talk and think about the weather Everyone talks about the weather, but what does it all mean? In clear, accessible language, Gail Gibbons introduces many common terms–like moisture, air pressure, and temperature–and their definitions. Simple, kid-friendly text explains the origins of fog, clouds, frost, thunderstorms, snow, fronts, hurricanes, reinforcing the explanations with clear, well-labeled drawings and diagrams. Newly revised, this edition of Weather Words and What They Mean has been vetted by an expert from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. Best of all, the book features a fun list of weird weather facts!
Waking up before the sun and realizing that she is very hungry, Early Bird takes a deep breath and begins searching for a tasty breakfast, in a boldly colored story that emphasizes action words.
Ages 0 to 3 years Rocket Science for Babies by Chris Ferrie is an introduction to aerospace engineering (also known as rocket science). Baby will learn the principles of lift and thrust, the forces responsible for flight. This is the first in a series of books designed to stimulate your baby and introduce them to the world of science. Also coming in May are: Newtonian Physics for Babies General Relativity for Babies Quantum Physics for Babies
The delightful images from the All Around Us slipcase are now in this fun, interactive format. By lifting the big, sturdy flaps, young readers will learn new words and concepts through Eric Carle’s bright, beautiful images and simple phrases. A perfect companion title for Eric Carle’s ABC and Opposites.
Whether you and your baby are at home or on the move, these are the ideal first sound books for cot or pram play. Research has indicated that newborn babies love high-contrast images and respond well to them. This adorable new series from Wee Gallery features bold illustrations along with simple words to help babies develop their essential visual and language skills.
This alphabetical installment of the Baby University series is the perfect introduction for even the youngest mathematicians!
A is for Addition B is for Base C is for Chord
From addition to zero, The ABCs of Mathematics is a colorfully simple introduction for babies—and grownups—to a new math concept for every letter of the alphabet. Written by an expert, each page in this mathematical primer features multiple levels of text so the book grows along with your little mathematician
My Very First Book of Animal Sounds - Here are two new split-page board books in the popular series from Eric Carle. In the brilliantly colorful My Very First Book of Animal Homes, children can match each animal with the home it lives in. Where do the bees live? Where does the bird live? In My Very First Book of Animal Sounds, children can match each animal with the sound it makes. Which animal barks? Which animal roars? Only you can match them. Full of vibrant animals, these books are loads of fun for young children.
My Very First Book of Animal Homes - Here are two new split-page board books in the popular series from Eric Carle. In the brilliantly colorful My Very First Book of Animal Homes, children can match each animal with the home it lives in. Where do the bees live? Where does the bird live? In My Very First Book of Animal Sounds, children can match each animal with the sound it makes. Which animal barks? Which animal roars? Only you can match them. Full of vibrant animals, these books are loads of fun for young children.
Baby Code! Play - How do you explain coding in playtime to a baby? By showing how it’s all around them, and how they can take part in it, of course! By using items and experiences in a baby’s world, like an electric swing or a ride at the amusement park, this charming board book full of bright, colorful illustrations is the perfect introduction to coding in active play for babies and their caregivers–and is sure to leave them wanting to learn more!
P Is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever - Turning the traditional idea of an alphabet book on its head, P is for Pterodactyl is perfect for anyone who has ever been stumped by silent letters or confused by absurd homophones. This whimsical, unique book takes silent letter entries like “K is for Knight” a step further with “The noble knight’s knife nicked the knave’s knee.” Lively illustrationsprovide context clues, and alliterative words help readers navigate text like “a bright white gnat is gnawing on my gnocchi” with ease. Everyone from early learners to grown-up grammarians will love this wacky book where “A is for Aisle” but “Y is definitely not for Why.”
In the city of Ark, speech is constrained to five hundred sanctioned words. Speak outside the approved lexicon and face banishment. The exceptions are the Wordsmith and his apprentice Letta, the keepers and archivists of all language in their post-apocalyptic, neo-medieval world. On the death of her master, Letta is suddenly promoted to Wordsmith, charged with collecting and saving words. But when she uncovers a sinister plan to suppress language and rob Ark’s citizens of their power of speech, she realizes that it’s up to her to save not only words, but culture itself.
This alphabetical installment of the Baby University series is the perfect introduction for even the youngest biologist!
A is for Anatomy B is for Bacteria C is for Cell
From anatomy to zoology, the ABCs of Biology is a colorfully simple introduction for babies—and grownups—to a new biology concept for every letter of the alphabet. Written by two experts, each page in this biology primer features multiple levels of text so the book grows along with your little biologist.
Big, brainy science for the littlest listeners.
Accurate enough to satisfy an expert, yet simple enough for baby, this clever board book explores the basics of building–from foundation to rooftop–and ties it all to baby’s world. Beautiful, visually stimulating illustrations complement age-appropriate language to encourage baby’s sense of wonder. Parents and caregivers may learn a thing or two, as well!
Meet a little boy named Paco who loves to draw but can’t seem to concentrate during school in this picture book that’s sprinkled with Spanish words! Paco gazed out at the late-morning sun. He wondered why recess had not yet begun. He wanted to go to el campo and play, and act like a matador shouting “¡Olé!” Paco loves daydreaming and drawing, but he struggles to concentrate during class. When his profesor takes him to the art room, Paco is amazed by the colorful paints: pink, rosado; purple, morado; fiery orange, anaranjado; and more! Could art be just what Paco needs? Complete with an author’s note and glossary of Spanish words, this story is a great introduction to Spanish with a strong message about the power of art!
“The next two books in the Baby Loves series tackle the first law of thermodynamics (energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can change forms) and Schreodinger’s Cat, the famous thought experiment involving quantum theory (quantum physics states that a particle can exist in multiple places at once). Accurate enough to satisfy an expert and simple enough for the rest of us to comprehend, the Baby Loves board books are perfect for geeky moms and dads who want to share their love of science, for parents who want to give their infant a head start on Harvard, and for hipster aunts and uncles who want that oh-so-clever gift for the baby shower.”–
Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did you know you can help us improve this list? Check out our Community Handbook and learn how to add tags to books.