21 Picture Books About Words: Stories That Enrich Your Child’s Word Power

Inside: A great big list of fabulous picture books about words – fabulous for developing your child’s vocabulary through word play.

One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is a rich and extensive vocabulary. From the time they are born, we talk to them and introduce them to the world, identifying everything they see, touch, and do. And, of course, we read to them, which not only exposes them to the beauty and power of words, but also allows us to share in the warmth and intimacy of enjoying stories together.

The following literary treasures are delightful stories that sneak in advanced vocabulary in creative ways! Browse over the following titles and you’re sure to find a few that are just right for your child!

RELATED: 11 Brain Activating Word Games for Kids

21 Picture Books about Words for Fun Word Study and to Enrich Vocabulary

21 Picture Books About Words

For more information about the titles listed below we’ve included links to our favourite online bookstores, where you will find reviews and age recommendations for titles you are unfamiliar with (these are affiliate links).

The Word Collector picture bookThe Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds
Jerome is a word lover who collects words of all kinds – “short and sweet” and “two-syllable treats!” This book relays the magic and power of words and the idea that one can love and appreciate words! Readers just might be enticed to become word collectors, too.
Available: Amazon  |  The Book Depository


Miss Alaineaus A Vocabulary DisasterMiss Alaneus and the Vocabulary Disaster by Debra Frasier
A humorous story about a girl named Sage who gets a little confused about the word “miscellaneous!” Her misunderstanding leads to an embarrassing moment, but with a little help, Sage avoids a disaster at the school Vocabulary Parade! Advanced vocabulary is woven into this funny story, one that has inspired teachers and schools across the globe to add Vocabulary Parades to their annual school event calendars!
Available: Amazon  |  The Book Depository


The King Who Rained picture bookThe King Who Rained by Fred Gwynne
The title of this one is a vocabulary lesson in itself! In this funny tale, a young girl envisions the things her daddy has told her about: a king who “rained” for forty years, roads that have “forks,” and a “mole” on his nose. Homonyms and idioms have never been so much fun! This is just one of author Fred Gwynne’s humorous and educational “play-on-words” stories.
Available: Amazon  |  The Book Depository


Rhyme Crime: Fun Books about WordsRhyme Crime by Jon Burgerman
Once upon a time, a thief committed a crime. Everything he stole was replaced with a RHYME! Hammy’s brand new hat was swapped for a cat! Arney’s comfy chair was switched for a bear! Packed with the silliest of rhymes and wordplay, this hilarious interactive tale will have the youngest readers in fits of giggles! But, can YOU solve the mysterious ending?!!
Available: Amazon  |  The Book Depository


Take Away the A: Word fun for kidsTake Away the A by Michael Escoffier
A word totally transforms if you take away just one letter – without the A, the beast is best and without the W the witch has an itch! A fun, totally irreverent and very clever alphabetic exploration of how letters form words to communicate ideas, with clever, comical illustrations to match.
Available: The Book Depository



Lexie the Word WranglerLexie the Word Wrangler by Rebecca Van Slyke
Lexie is the best wrangler west of the Mississippi—the best WORD wrangler, that is! Always creative and sometimes silly wordplay pairs perfectly with lively illustrations to engage children with clever celebration of words and their meanings. Includes fun with compound words, anagrams, word chains, puns and misspelling!
Available: Amazon  |  The Book Depository


Max's WordsMax’s Words by Kate Banks
Max’s brother Benjamin collects stamps; his brother Karl collect coins. Max wants to collect something too and he decides to collect words. Benjamin brags that he has one thousand stamps. Karl is just a few coins short of five hundred. But a thousand stamps is really just a bunch of stamps, and a lot of coins is only a heap of money. A pile of words, however, can be so much more because a pile of words can make a story!
Available: Amazon  |  The Book Depository


Stegothesaurus picture book about wordsStegothesaurus by Bridget Heos
Stegothesaurus is a word-loving dinosaur who can’t keep himself from spouting big words. When his brothers describe a mountain as big, Stegothesaurus calls it gargantuan, gigantic, and Goliath. Stegothesaurus’ brothers do not share his love of language, so when he meets a word-loving allothesaurus, he feels he’s found a kindred spirit. However, the allothesaurus might not be the true friend Stegothesaurus dreamed of!
Available: Amazon  |  The Book Depository

The Weighty Word Book picture books about wordsThe Weighty Word Book by Paul Levitt
A collection of 26 short stories, one for each letter of the alphabet, this book uses clever plots with “punch-line” endings to make difficult words understandable, pronounceable, and memorable for kids as young as 9 or 10. For example, a circus manager searching for new talent finds a skillful ice-skating hippo named Cora. He declares, “Boy, can that Cora skate!” (the word coruscate means “brilliant or showy in technique or style”). Teachers and parents will appreciate the use of puns, mnemonics, and tips for pronunciation. The sequel Weighty Words, Too delivers more of the same!
Available: Amazon  |  The Book Depository

RELATED: Check out our collection of Alphabet Books that teach much more than the ABCs.

The Traveling DustballThe Traveling Dustball by Judith Henderson
While sweeping the floor, Davey and his dog Abigail must deal with an irksome dustball. Suddenly, they are carried off by the wind and into several magical journeys, each one featuring some hefty words. In their travels to countries all over the world, they see one phenomenon after another. Like its predecessor, The Missing Donut,  this second book in the series features a Sprinkle Fairy and her helpers, who pop in on each page to sneak in big words.
Available: Amazon  |  The Book Depository


The Boy Who Loved WordsThe Boy Who Loved Words by Roni Schotter
Selig’s friends make fun of his word-collecting hobby and his parents worry about his future. But he finds a purpose for his word collection, one that helps and inspires others. A Parents’ Choice Gold Award winner, this book weaves wonderful words such as periphery and tantalizing into a beautiful tale about being true to yourself and finding joy and purpose in your passions.
Available: Amazon  |  The Book Depository


Thesaurus RexThesaurus Rex by Laya Steinberg
Thesaurus Rex has an irresistible way with words, encouraging young children to explore action-verb and noun synonyms through his playful and energetic adventures across the pages. The fun word romp incorporates alliteration, rhyme and repetition, well supported by the bright, colourful illustrations.
Available: Amazon  |  The Book Depository


Fancy Nancy Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor
Nancy is a young girl who loves everything fancy including the use of fancy words! In this story, the first in a series of books, we meet Nancy, who loves to write her name using a pen with a plume and loves the color fuschia. As the words come up in the story, Nancy explains, “that’s a fancy word for ‘feather,’” or “that’s a fancy word for ‘purple.’” Each book in the Fancy Nancy series, which includes Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy and Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas, has a charming plot and message for children and makes learning “fancy” words fun and effortless.
Available: Amazon  |  The Book Depository


Carmine A Little More RedCarmine, A Little More Red by Melissa Sweet
In this story, Carmine, a young girl also known as Little Red, rides her bike to Granny’s house to enjoy some alphabet soup. Although warned not to dilly dally, she’s distracted by the many exquisite wonders she sees along the way. With each turn of the page in this modern retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood,” a fascinating new word is woven into the story and since Carmine is also “a dreamy painter” who loves all shades of the color red, the illustrations are captivating!
Available: Amazon

As it can be a little tricky to find a copy of Carmine, A Little More Red, here is a Youtube retelling of the tale;

More Picture Books About Words

While the following titles are not shared as fictional stories, they are each equally fantastic children’s picture books for enriching vocabulary through wordplay and exploration.

Big Words for Little GeniusesBig Words for Little Geniuses by Susan and James Patterson
Why should your little genius’s first word be cat when it can be catawampus! Start your child off with an early love of reading with this fun book of big words that are wonderfully fun to say! With delightful illustrations, kids and adults alike will have fun trying to pronounce this tricky collection of words.
Available: Amazon  |  The Book Depository



101 Collective Nouns: Fun Word Play Books for Kids101 Collective Nouns by Jennifer Cossins
An aurora of polar bears? A bouquet of hummingbirds? A smack of jellyfish? A wisdom of wombats? Equally delightful and informative, this beautifully illustrated journey through the animal kingdom is a delight for children of all ages.
Available: Amazon



The Lost WordsThe Lost Words by Jackie Morris & Robert Macfarlane
All over the world, words from nature are disappearing from children’s lives. The Lost Words stands against the disappearance of wild childhood. With acrostic spell-poems by award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane and hand-painted illustration by Jackie Morris, this enchanting book captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.
Available: Amazon  |  The Book Depository


What a Wonderful WordWhat a Wonderful Word: A Collection of Untranslatables From Around the World by Nicola Edwards
Have you ever wished there was a word for friends who are like family to you? Did you know there was a special word for the distance a reindeer can travel before needing the toilet? Or for when you search for something in the water using only your feet? This hand-picked collection of untranslatable worlds from all over the world celebrates the magic of language and the fascinating cultures they descend from.
Available: Amazon  |  The Book Depository


My Epic Life Word Book for KidsMy Epic Life Word Book: 1000 Words to Live By by Mrs Wordsmith
This is not your average dictionary. It is a dictionary, but it’s also a handbook for any child who wants to live a truly epic life. From emotions to math, food to philosophy, making a big mucky mess to cleaning up, this dictionary gives children the words they need to express themselves in every part of life.
Available: Amazon  |  The Book Depository


In a WordIn a Word: 750 Words and Their Fascinating Stories and Origins by Rosalie Baker
Organized into 16 chapters with catchy titles such as ‘Military Madness,’ ‘Glorious Gizmos & Great Grub,’ and ‘Exceptional Expressions,’ In a Word offers historical context and origins of 750 interesting words and phrases.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository


Pun and GamesPun and Games: Jokes, Riddles, Daffynitions, Tairy Fales, Rhymes and More Word Play for Kids by Richard Lederer
Explore the wacky world of wordplay with puns, spoonerisms, games of word substitution, and much more.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository




21 Picture Books about Words to Boost Vocabulary

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Check out our collection of online word games for kids or grab a copy of our Spin It! Spelling Game to use with any word list.