My tweens (gah!) grew up reading Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever, and I have to admit — it’s hard to argue with that title. It’s a classic! But a some new and very cool first-words books have caught my eye recently, and I just have to share them. Because every parent of young kids needs a good first-words book (or two or three, or fifteen) in their collection at home.

Whether you’re a fan or Doctor Who, Dr. Seuss, or just humor and great illustrations, we think these have potential to become classics in your own family too.

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Related: 6 gorgeously artful look-and-find books for kids

Cool first-words books: 100 First Words for Little Geeks

If you’ve made it a point to be sure your kids learn about second breakfast, the Tardis, and kryptonite right along with apples, balls, and cats, then 100 First Words for Little Geeks¬†by Brooke Jouren and Kyle Kershner¬†is the first-words book you need on your children’s bookshelf. Dr. Spock — you know which one — would be proud.

Related: 11 cool, modern ABC books for kids that parents will love too

Cool first-words books: Frankie's Magical Day is great for fans of Toca Life apps

Frankie’s Magical Day: A First Book of Whimsical Words by Michelle Romo, is a brand new book that feels like a thoroughly modern take on the classic by first-words book by Richard Scarry. Here, she labels every single thing seen on a page, from house and scissors, along with other essential (in my world) words like¬†unicorn,¬†donut¬†and¬†frilly skirt. Oh, and bunny bandit, who’s there to raid the vegetable garden. The illustrated pages here explore rooms in a house, clothing, a grocery store, a garden, a city as seen overhead, and so much more. Her cool art style reminds me of the popular¬†Toca Boca apps¬†our kids adore, and I think they’ll love this book too.


Cool first-words books: One Thousand Things Alphabet Flashcards by Anna Kövecses

My kids love to pour over the illustrations in Anna K√∂vecses’s¬†One Thousand Things¬†book at bedtime, identifying each and every detail with the proper word. So I’m looking forward to her new¬†One Thousand Things: Alphabet Flashcards¬†book for my toddler, because it teaches letters, numbers and first words all in Anna’s cool, mid-century Scandinavian art style (Herman Miller has even hired her!) that I adore.

Cool first-words books: Dr. Seuss's 100 First Words

Dr. Seuss is known for his imaginative, bizarre worlds where people wear¬†thneeds¬†and capture animals called¬†nerkles. Buta in the brand new¬†Dr. Seuss’s 100 First Words,¬†you’ll only find the basics: kangaroos and monkeys, plates and cereal, bookshelves and balls. All presented with that unmistakable Seussian style that will have your kids exploring more books — and worlds like Whoville — in no time.