These picture books are a fun way to build vocabulary effortlessly. I also have a series of posts on picture books with SAT vocabulary from the literacy specialist at our elementary school. She selects a series of picture books and pulls out big words along with a sentence with the word. Little kids like big words!
Best Picture Books for Vocabulary
Stegothesaurus by Bridget Heos, illustrated by T. L. McBeth
Stegothesaurus is not like his brothers, the stegosaurs. Stegothesaurus knew lots of big words that he used to describe everything around him. When an allosaurus approached, his brothers ran away. It turns out this allosaurus was different too. She was an allothesaurus. They spent time together decribing everything they encountered until he asked how she knew all those words. The answer frightened him back and he ran back to his brothers. This is a fun and funny picture book to teach new words. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Ebenezer Has a Word for Everything by Chelsea H. Rowe, illustrated by Frank Dormer
Ebenezer is a word collector and he has the perfect word for every situation. They are big words with many syllables and that’s the way Ebenezer likes it. He wants to share his word collection but no one is interested. Except for Fitzgerald. He likes words too because he write stories. Sometimes he has the story, but not the perfect word. It’s no surprise that they become good friends. I mean, stupendous friends. [picture book, ages 4 and up] This book is out October of 2018.
Halmoni and the Picnic by Sook Nyul Choi
An advanced picture book about a girl and her Korean grandmother and how they both learn to bridge the cultural gap with food. Yunmi and Halmoni’s Trip is about their trip back to visit Korea. [ages 5-8]
The Absolutely Awful Alphabet by Mordicai Gerstein
Chock full of SAT level adjectives. [ages 2-6]
Owen and Mzee Non-Fiction series by Craig Hatkoff
A true story about a remarkable friendship between an old tortoise and a young hippopotamus. [ages 4-11]
The Ballot Box Battle by Emily Arnold McCully
Elizabeth Stanton tells young Cordelia about the fight for a woman’s right to vote while encouraging her to bravely jump her horse. We have enjoyed all of her books, especially the Mirette series. [ages 6-10]
Fancy Nancy series by Jane O’Connor
Nancy’s fancy capers are beloved by all girls, fancy or not. [ages 4-8]
Any book by Patricia Polacco except Pink and Say which is a great book about her ancestry at the time the Civil War but the content is too violent and sad for small children. If you read any of her book jackets, the biography of each book will tell you about the people in her life who inspired each story. [ages 6-10]
Thesaurus Rex by Laya Steinberg
Lots of synonyms presented by a T. Rex. [ages 5-7]
Anatole series by Eve Titus.
Anatole is a French mouse with a keen palate. [ages 6-8]
Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully
Mirette meets a high wire walker who is boarding at her mother’s house and she helps him regain his ability to wire walk. In return, he teaches her to master the high wire. [picture book, ages 6 and up]
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