Best Kids Books About Vocabulary

17 Kids Books About Vocabulary

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
Stegothesaurus book
#1
Stegothesaurus
Written by Bridget Heos and illustrated by T. L. McBeth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Stegothesaurus has little in common with his fellow dinosaurs until he meets an allosaurus that seems as hungry for synonyms as he is.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears book
#2
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Written by Margot Channing and illustrated by Ellie Jenkins, Margot Channing
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

The Scribblers Look and Say series encourages eagle-eyed young readers to find creatures and objects hidden inside enchanting, charmingly-illustrated retellings of familiar fairy tales, like Goldilocks and the three bears. Every page features a sidebar containing items for children to spot and say aloud, practising their reading and speaking skills. A treasure hunt at the back invites readers to explore further.

The Book about Nothing book
#3
The Book about Nothing
Written by Mike Bender and illustrated by Hugh Murphy
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

This book has nothing to do with rainbows, rocket ships, meatballs, or wizards. Instead, it’s full of zip, zilch, diddly-squat, bupkus. But don’t worry, reading this book isn’t all for nothing, because sometimes nothing is actually something. Like if you pick up all the toys in your room, what will be on the floor? NOTHING. When you take a bath, what are you wearing? NOTHING. And when you shut the lights off to go to bed, what do you see? NOTHING. Mike Bender and Hugh Murphy stop at nothing to explore the key concepts of nothing and zero using playful language and hilarious illustrations.

Move! book
#4
Move!
Written and illustrated by Steve Jenkins, Robin Page
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Introduces children to a collection of wild animals and, through detailed illustrations, shows how and why each of the slithering, hopping, and crawling creatures move as they do.

Niño Wrestles the World book
#5
Niño Wrestles the World
Written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Señoras y señores, put your hands together for the fantastic, spectacular, one of a kind . . . Niño! Fwap! Slish! Bloop! Krunch! He takes down his competition in a single move! No opponent is too big a challenge for the cunning skills of Niño—popsicle eater, toy lover, somersault expert, and world champion lucha libre competitor! Niño Wrestles the World is in English with Spanish vocabulary, and is a fun, colorful story about a boy wrestling with imaginary monsters (including an Olmec Head and La Llorona) and adversaries like his younger sisters. This is a joyful picture book about imagination, play, and siblings. Award-winning author and illustrator Yuyi Morales is the author of Caldecott Honor and Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Medal-winning Viva Frida, Pura Belpré (Illustration) Medal and Pura Belpré (Narrative) Honor book Los Gatos Black on Halloween, stunning bilingual bedtime story Little Night/Nochecita, Rudas: Niño's Horrendous Hermanitas, and other picture books for young readers. She also illustrated Thunder Boy Jr., written by Sherman Alexie. A Neal Porter Book Pura Belpré Illustrator Award Winner A Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year ALSC Notable Children's Book A Mamiverse.com Top 50 Latino Children's Books You Should Know "The saturated palette, dynamic composition, and copious spike-ballooned sound effects add ebullient visual noise. Beneath the furious fun, though, beats a tender heart." —The Horn Book, starred review "Kids with multicultural classmates will recognize (or learn Niño's many Spanish exclamations. A closing note explains the lucha libre culture." —Booklist

The Bass Plays the Bass and Other Homographs book
#6
The Bass Plays the Bass and Other Homographs
Written and illustrated by Gene Barretta
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Playing a variety of musical instruments, animals on a concert tour introduce words that are spelled the same but sound different and have different meanings, such as tear (to cry) and tear (to rip).

Poetry for Kids: Carl Sandburg book
#7
Poetry for Kids: Carl Sandburg
Written by Kate Benzel, Carl Sandburg and illustrated by Robert Crawford
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Professor and scholar Kate Benzel has carefully chosen 35 poems of interest to children and their families. Carl Sandburg divides the poems into poems about people, and poems about people. You'll find classics including "Young Bullfrogs," "Shenandoah", "Jazz Fantasia", "Fog", and 31 more of Sandburg's favorite and most accessible works. Each poem is beautifully illustrated by the award-winning Robert Crawford. This gentle introduction includes commentary, definitions of key words, and an introduction to the poet's life, plus a final synopsis of the author's interpretation of the pieces.

W is for Webster book
#8
W is for Webster
Written by Tracey Fern and illustrated by Boris Kulikov
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Poetry for Kids: Walt Whitman book
#9
Poetry for Kids: Walt Whitman
Written by Karen Karbiener, Walt Whitman and illustrated by Kate Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Introduce children to the work of celebrated American poet Walt Whitman! Carefully chosen for kids, 35 illustrated poems are presented and explained by New York University professor Karen Karbenier, PhD, a Whitman expert. Walt Whitman includes enlightening commentary for each poem, definitions of key words, and a foreword by the expert. Vibrant illustrations invigorate the poetry. Starting off with "I Hear America Singing," the collection includes excerpts from "Song of Myself," "O Captain! My Captain!", poems from Leaves of Grass, and many more thought-provoking, descriptive, and kid-friendly selections.

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga book
#10
We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga
Written by Traci Sorell and illustrated by Frané Lessac
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

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.

Bizz & Buzz Make Honey Buns book
#11
Bizz & Buzz Make Honey Buns
Written and illustrated by Dee Leone
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Following Bear's recipe for honey buns, bees Bizz and Buzz are confused by homophones, causing them to use a "flower" instead of "flour" and tell a buttercup how much they "need" it instead of "kneading" the flower and butter together.

Our Food book
#12
Our Food
Written by Ranida T. McNeally, Grace Lin and illustrated by Grace Zong
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Award-winning author Grace Lin joins science writer Ranida T. McKneally to get kids talking about the science of food, the five food groups, and what a healthy meal looks like. Answering questions like "why are so many vegetables green?", "What's the difference between brown bread and white bread?", and "Why do beans make you gassy?", cheerful haiku poems and a simple Q&A format make this book a nutritious treat. The information in this book aligns with both the USDA's MyPlate guidelines and the Harvard School of Public Health's Healthy Eating Plate guidelines and back matter includes further information about healthy eating and nutritional guidelines, as well as a glossary.

Petey and Pru and the Hullabaloo book
#13
Petey and Pru and the Hullabaloo
Written by Ammi-Joan Pacquette and illustrated by Joy Ang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Petey is enjoying a peaceful afternoon of gardening when his good friend Pru starts to cause trouble. Petey reacts in turn, and before long, things have escalated from a scuffle to a tussle to a true hullabaloo! This beautifully illustrated story about the true meaning of friendship is packed with excitement and near disaster as well as vocabulary-expanding words that are fun to say and thrilling to master. Glossary.

The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito book
#14
The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito
Written by Tomson Highway and illustrated by Sue Todd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Timely, Fun, Challenging and Wise! Tomson Highway's musical cabaret, The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito, couldn't be more vividly presented unless you were sitting in the middle seat of the front row watching the Cree playwright, performer, musician and poet himself. The story of a wingless little mosquito from Manitoba has all the whimsy and wise humour any audience could ask for. The ageless theme of a misfit, who finds her voice through song and who learns to make friends by communicating directly with her audience, is a timely treat for anyone who has felt like an outsider, dealt with bullying, moved to a new place, or was different from the rest of the pack. The entire script is here, complete with song lyrics, stage directions, Cree vocabulary, and challenging tongue twisters to delight all ages. A perfect book for drama students, teachers, and theatre enthusiasts, this beautiful full-colour volume serves as an interactive read-aloud for the young, or a great way to introduce students to the joys of staging a musical production.

The North Wind and the Sun book
#15
The North Wind and the Sun
Written by Marilyn Helmer and illustrated by Sue Todd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-8

When the North Wind brags about his strength, the Sun challenges him to a contest. Who will win?

A Tower of Giraffes book
#16
A Tower of Giraffes
Written and illustrated by Anna Wright
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

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.

Antonio's Music book
#17
Antonio's Music
Written by Joanna Emery and illustrated by Sue Todd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-8

Antonio loved to create music, and everyone loved to listen to it. But then, Antonio's music was forgotten for many years. Was Antonio's music gone forever?

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.