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 Kövecses’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 Wordsyou’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.

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