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A dozen great books for kids who love trucks/cars/"mighty machines" etc. Our favorites are #s 1, 2, 11 and 12!

Honk! Books for Your Truck/Train/Car-Loving Child

After the popularity of Princess Books You’ll Actually Want Your Daughter to Read, Janssen and I knew we had to do a list for the boys.  We settled on vehicles because that’s what the little guys in our lives are into (and my little girl as well – of course this list is for both genders).  Hope you enjoy this roundup – #1, 2, 11, and 12 are especially popular at our house.

Last summer, my sister and I were driving in the car together, with no children. I interrupted her mid-sentence to say, “Look! There’s a . . . ” and then I realized she probably didn’t care that there was a cow grazing in a pasture.

She laughed and told me that she and her husband find themselves pointing out construction vehicles to each other, by their proper name, when they are out without their little boys. It’s funny to see what things you start noticing when your child is really into a certain topic.

If, like my nephews, vehicles are what your children love, these ten books will probably be wildly popular at your house. Plus, many of them will give you (or your child) a chance to show off all the technical names of vehicles you know!

  1. Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld. Who would have guessed that bedtime rhymes and cement Mixers, bulldozers, and excavators would mix so well? Each of the vehicles settles in to rest at the construction site after a busy day.
  2. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton. This is the classic vehicle book in my mind. The gorgeous illustrations and the sweet story about Mike’s mission to prove his beloved steam shovel isn’t antiquated has been a favorite for generations.
  3. Fire Truck by Peter Sis. What could be better than waking up to discover you are a fire truck? Flashing lights, speedy tires, and emergencies to solve, it’s a pretty good life for a little boy. But when pancakes show up on the breakfast table, it might be time to turn back into a human.
  4. Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton and Tom Lichtenheld. I love this wacky book about various matchups between a shark and a train. The train might be better speeding through the flat desert, but the shark wins a diving contest every time. And who is a better at ping pong? Or bowling?
  5. The Caboose Who Got Loose by Bill Peet. This book, about a caboose who is tired of being last, is written by the peerless Bill Pete, who worked for years at Disney as an animator and screenwriter. His style works just as well on paper as it did on the screen.
  6. That’s How! By Chistoph Niemann. This clever book shows two kids checking out a bunch of different vehicles and wondering how they work. One of the children has all sorts of wild ideas about what’s inside that makes them run. My daughter and I giggled through every page.
  7. Trucks Go by Steve Light. For your very youngest truck enthusiast, this book features all the sounds of various trucks, in a simply-illustrated board book format.
  8. Machines Go to Work by William Low. Showcasing nine different machines in gorgeous detail, this book with giant flaps shows all the kinds of things machines can be used for.
  9. I’m Fast! by by Kate McMullan and Jim McMullan. A race between a train and a zippy little race car through the desert, over the mountains, and into the city will keep you guessing until the last page. Who will win?
  10. Truck Stuck by Sallie Wolf  and Andy Robert Davies. When a truck gets stuck under a bridge, the whole community gathers around trying to figure out how to get it unstuck!
  11. Little Blue Truck – A muddy country road is no match for this little pick up–that is, until he gets stuck while pushing a dump truck out of the muck. Luckily, Blue has made a pack of farm animal friends along his route. And they’re willing to whatever it takes to get their pal back on the road. Filled with truck sounds and animals noises, here is a rollicking homage to the power of friendship and the rewards of helping others
  12. Trucks Roll by George Ella Lyon.  With its rhyming text and bold illustrations, Trucks Roll! invites kids along on a day in a trucker’s life and shows that many things we enjoy depend on the trucker’s work.

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Janssen is a former librarian and avid reader who is always maxing out her library card. She now stays at home with her two-year-old daughter (with another girl on the way) and blogs about books for readers of all ages, her favorite recipes, and parenting adventures at Everyday Reading.

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