Words, words, words… They are everywhere and little ones are learning new vocabulary words each day. At some point, usually in elementary school, many kids lose their excitement over discovering new words. Today, I’m sharing books for kids that will help ignite that curiosity about discovering new vocabulary!
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All great written books will help build your child’s vocabulary. But, this list of books features the love of learning new words and building vocabulary.
My newest favorite is Word Collector by the great Peter H. Reynolds. Most people love to collect things and Jerome loves to collect words. I love what Reynolds writes on the endpage, “Reach for your own words. Tell the world who you are and how you will make it better.”
Out of the books on this list, Thesaurus Rex by Laya Steinberg is probably geared towards the youngest crowd. Thesaurus Rex is a playful dinosaur who gets into all sorts of mischief. Along the way, we are introduced to lots of new synonyms for words such as play, drink and calls. The illustrations really help to support the text.
Big Words for Little People by Jamie Lee Curtis is a funny picture book that introduces young children to “big” words. Children will read about words such as irate, cooperate, stupendous and persevere. It really celebrates just how neat it is to know new words and how they help you to expand your intelligence.
The Word Collector by Sonja Wimmer is about a little girl who feels that kind words are being lost across the world. So, she packs up her words in a suitcase and sets off on a journey to spread joyful words. When she runs out of words, she discovers that the people she shared with are now creating their own words and sharing them with others.
The Boy Who Loved Words by Roni Schotter is about a boy who loves to collect words! “Selig loved everything about words- the sound of them in his ears (tintinnabulating!), the taste of them on his tongue (tantalizing!), the thought of them when the percolated in his brain (stirring!), and, most especially, the feel of them when they moved his heart (Mama!).” Selig travels around sharing his words with others who need them.
Max wants to collect something after everyone admires his brothers’ stamp and coin collections in Max’s Words by Kate Banks. So, Max decides to start collecting words. Pretty soon the word collection grows so much that he’s not sure what to do with all the words. Then he discovers that all of those words would make a great story.
Carmine a Little More Red by Melissa Sweet is about a little girl on her way to see her granny. Through her alphabet adventure, we are introduced to a new vocabulary word on each page. Will she make it to granny’s house without a run in with the wolf in the woods?
Stegothesaurus by Bridget Heos is the story of a little dinosaur who has a way with words. When the other dinosaurs say something is big, his mind fills with more descriptive words like gargantuan, gigantic, and Goliath. And, then one day he meets an Allothesaurus and he says a whole new set of words.
What a Wonderful Word: A Collection of Untranslatable Words From Around the World by Nicola Edwards is for kids who really love vocabulary. This book takes a look at words that just can’t be translated in English. Each word gets it own page and is full of information to describe the word.
Fancy Nancy loves to use fancy words when she speaks and little ones will love to learn from her fancy vocabulary. Fancy Nancy is written by Jane O’Connor.
Speaking of homonyms and homophones… Fred Gwynne (aka Herman Munster!) has three classic books on this topic. They are The King Who Rained, A Chocolate Moose for Dinner and A Little Pigeon Toad.
I’m super picky when it comes to dictionaries for kids. They have to describe the word in kid-friendly terms in order for me to recommend them. Well…The Dictionary of Difficult Words by Jane Solomon is one I can recommend! It has over 400 words that will challenge those who love to learn new and unusual words.My kids and I have been picking one a day to talk about and try to incorporate into our vocabulary.
Ever wonder what an INTERROBANG was? According to this book, “An interrobang is a punctuation mark that combines the exclamation mark with the question mark. It’s used when someone is surprised or really excited while asking a question.” See what I mean about a kid-friendly definition!?
If You Were a Prefix by Marcie Aboff introduces children to what a prefix is and how it is used. It also gives lots of examples of words with prefixes. Bright illustrations support the text. Other books in this series include: If You Were a Suffix, If You Were a Synonym, If You Were an Antonym and If You Were a Homonym or a Homophone.
Donavan’s Word Jar by Monalisa DeGross is a chapter book about a boy who collects words in a jar. When the jar becomes full, he searches for new ways to collect his words. However, he learns that it’s more meaningful to share his words with others rather than just collecting them for himself.
Celebrate finding those perfect words in The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant. This one was well loved by award committees.
Printable Book List of Vocabulary Books
Grab a printable book list of the books above with our handy guide.
Vocabulary Lessons Learned from a 2 year-old
Do you have a favorite book that highlights or explores vocabulary?
*This post first appeared on Growing Book by Book 10/21/13.
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This is unique and sounds wonderful!
Another great one is Miss Alaineus by Debra Frasier 🙂 She has many great books. Thank you for the great list!
Anna@The Measured Mom says
Such a fantastic list, Jodie! I can’t wait to check out some of these we haven’t seen yet.
Erica @What Do We Do All Day? says
Great list Jodie. I love “Max’s Words”!
Jodie Rodriguez says
Thank you Erica. Max’s Words is a good one!
Excellent post, Jodie! We just read The Boy Who Loved Words and loved it. I strongly recommend poems by Prelutzky as vocabulary builders, I jokingly call him an “SAT poet”. I am pinning this post at Afterschool shared board and will feature it in my hostess round up next week.
Jodie Rodriguez says
I love that “SAT poet”! Thanks so much for sharing. Poetry is great for vocabulary development!
Fancy Nancy too! Her fancy words are such a great way to teach kids vocabulary.
Jodie Rodriguez says
Yes, Fancy Nancy is great too! Thanks for the reminder.
Katie @ Gift of Curiosity says
Ooohh! I love this list! I’m always using the books we read to introduce new vocabulary words, but I wasn’t familiar with these books that are specifically about new vocabulary. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you. I am unfamiliar with many of these books you mentioned. I will have to check them out. I am especially intrigued by “The Boy who loved Words”.