What are the word sets?

How do they work?

We Can Books leads your child through a progression of phonics words linked to familiar images from their own world, creating an emotional connection to the letters, sounds and words: the very building blocks of reading.

Each book in the series of four builds on the last one, and by the time your child can easily make their way through the fourth book, they are well on their way to independent reading.

It’s easy and fun to make your We Can Books in the app: just choose a picture from your photo gallery on your phone or take a new photo that matches with one of the words in that set. Don’t worry if you can’t find a photo or take one to match, we have a great backup image on each page you can use.



  • Make it fun

You can make a fun project out of creating and finding the images together! You can even “stage” some of the photos (for example, take a photo of the child in a hat for the “hat” page). Or have fun combining more than one of the words from a word set in a single photo (like a photo of the child in a hat, sitting on a mat, holding a cat). The possibilities are limitless. Creating the photos together can be a special, memorable scavenger hunt.

  • Search your photos

Your phone has a “search” function in your Photos section. Just look for the little magnifying glass icon, click it, then type in what you are looking for (cat, pan, dog, bug, etc.) and all the images in your phone that fit that word will come up! No need to manually search through thousands of photos.

  • Think outside the box

Remember that many of the words can use an image that illustrates the word (for example, a fire for “hot,” or a wet dog for “wet,” or a red toy or flower for “red”) etc.

  • Use ours instead

If you are still struggling to find a suitable image, no worries! You can always use one of our beautiful backup photos, which are preloaded onto every page.

Want to know which words are coming up on each page so you can gather or create your photos ahead of time?

Here are the word sets for each book in the We Can Books Series:


We Can Book 1: Short vowels, 3-letter words

22 pages total: 20 pages with key words & photos, 1 dedication page, 1 How To Use page

  1. cat, hat, bat, mat, pat, sat, fat, rat, at
  2. fan, can, man, pan, van, tan, ran, an
  3. cap, nap, lap, tap, gap, map, rap, zap
  4. jam, ham, ram, bam, dam, yam, Sam, am
  5. bug, hug, tug, rug, jug, mug, dug, pug
  6. yum, gum, hum, sum, rum, bum, mum
  7. nut, cut, but, rut, gut, jut, hut, tut
  8. sun, run, bun, fun, pun, gun, nun, dun
  9. fox, sox, box, pox, lox, ox
  10. cob, gob, rob, mob, sob, job, Bob
  11. hot, not, lot, got, jot, dot, pot, rot, tot, cot
  12. hop, top, bop, mop, sop, lop, pop
  13. dig, big, fig, wig, jig, pig, rig, gig, zig
  14. sip, nip, hip, dip, lip, rip, yip, tip, zip
  15. sit, wit, lit, bit, fit, kit, hit, pit, it
  16. pin, win, tin, bin, kin, din, fin, in
  17. red, bed, wed, fed, led, Ned
  18. hen, pen, ten, den, men, zen, Ben
  19. leg, peg, keg, beg, Meg
  20. wet, bet, let, pet, met, set, net, get, vet, jet


We Can Book 2: long vowels, some diagraphs (ay, aw, ow, oo, ee, oa, ea, ss, ck).

22 pages total: 20 pages with key words & photos, 1 dedication page, 1 How to Use Page

  1. bay, lay, day, pay, say, may, hay, ray
  2. bag, nag, rag, gag, sag, tag, wag, zag
  3. paw, caw, saw, law, jaw, raw
  4. cow, pow, vow, bow, now, how, wow, yow, ow
  5. row, mow, low, bow, sow, tow
  6. goo, moo, coo, boo, too, poo, zoo
  7. boot, toot, loot, root, moot, hoot
  8. boom, loom, room, doom, zoom
  9. cook, look, book, took, hook, nook, rook
  10. bee, see, lee, fee, tee, me, we
  11. peep, beep, deep, keep, seep, jeep, weep
  12. feed, weed, need, seed, deed, heed, reed
  13. boat, goat, coat, moat, load, road, toad
  14. seat, meat, heat, neat, beat, feat, eat
  15. bean, lean, mean, wean, real, meal, real, seal
  16. kiss, miss, hiss, moss, toss, boss, loss
  17. pass, sass, bass, mass, lass, less, mess
  18. pack, back, rack, tack, lack, sack, Jack
  19. duck, buck, luck, muck, puck, yuck, suck, tuck
  20. lick, kick, pick, nick, sick, tick, wick

We Can Book 3: more diagraphs, and silent e

22 pages total: 20 pages with key words & photos, 1 dedication page, 1 How to Use Page

  1. tent, bent, dent, lent, sent, vent, pent, went
  2. fast, last, past, vast, cast, best, test, rest, pest, nest
  3. rust, bust, dust, gust, must, just
  4. lash, dash, hash, bash, rash, cash, mash, sash
  5. fish, dish, wish, gush, lush, mush, rush
  6. jump, bump, hump, dump, pump, lump
  7. sand, band, hand, land, and
  8. bend, tend, send, lend, pond, fond, bond
  9. rid, ride, hid, hide, tide, wide, side
  10. dot, dote, tot, tote, not, note, vote
  11. pin, pine, win, wine, fin, fine, vine
  12. cake, bake, fake, lake, make, rake, sake, wake
  13. doe, toe, woe, foe, roe, Joe
  14. bale, gale, pale, sale, tale, kale, male, ale
  15. ice, mice, dice, lice, nice, vice, rice
  16. dune, rune, June, tune, dude, rude, cute, mute
  17. tail, wail, mail, nail, fail, rail, sail, jail, pail
  18. ball, wall, tall, fall, mall, pall, hall, call
  19. fly, ply, sly, cry, fry, pry, try, dry, shy
  20. joy, toy, boy, oil, coil, boil, foil, coin, join

We Can Book 4: more diagraphs, consonant blends at the beginnings of words, and the letter q.

22 pages total: 20 pages with key words & photos, 1 dedication page, 1 How to Use Page

  1. stop, step, stem, stub, star, stun, stir
  2. ship, shop, shot, shin, shim, sham, shed
  3. tree, trip, trim, trap, tram, trot, trod
  4. skin, skim, skit, skid, skip, skill
  5. spot, spit, spat, spin, span, spun, sped
  6. snow, snip, snap, snag, snug, snob
  7. swan, swim, swam, swat, swap, sway
  8. drum, drip, drop, drag, drab, draw, drew
  9. plum, plus, plug, play, plan, plod, plop
  10. chop, chip, chap, chat, chin, chug, chum
  11. then, than, them, they, this, that, the
  12. moth, math, path, bath, both, with
  13. quail, quill, quiz, quit, quip, quick, Queen
  14. crab, crib, cram, crop, croc, crop, cross
  15. clam, clan, clap, clip, clop, clog, club, claw
  16. block, black, blast, blab, blob, blow, blue, bliss
  17. sled, slam, slab, slap, slip, slim, slob, slow
  18. glue, glad, glass, glee, glob, glop, glum, glow
  19. flag, flat, flax, flap, flop, fled, flee, flea
  20. frog, free, fray, fret, from, frizz, frost, fresh