Are you going to do a kindergarten or preschool transportation project? You’ll love this huge list of books that go together.
It’s so easy to make a transportation theme! Cars, trucks, buses, planes, trains, boats, and so much more! I’ve put together a list of some of our favorite books below. They’re good read-aloud books for kids ages 2 to 6. Enjoy yourself!
Backhoe Joe, by Lori Alexander
They loved this book right away (ages 3 and 4). Nolan is outside playing when he sees a stray…backhoe. That is, the machine is afraid and hesitant until Nolan tries to get him closer with rocks from his bag.
As soon as Nolan brings the backhoe home, his parents aren’t so sure that Joe will be a good pet for him. He hides his cone in the flowerbed and weeps on the street. When Nolan tries to teach the backhoe, Joe digs through the garbage and yells at the mailman. He finally finds out that Joe already has a home. The book has a satisfying ending, and the twist at the end always makes us laugh.
Lori Alexander has done very well with her first picture book. Cameron’s illustrations make this a book that you can’t put down, and they make the book even better. A must-have for the early childhood classroom! It’s even better than that: You can get beautiful coloring pages and a great guide for free!
Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night?, by Brianna Caplan Sayres
During the day, kids can’t get enough trucks. This is a great bedtime story for kids who love trucks. They go to sleep when they’re done with their last beams. There aren’t a lot of moms who do this. It’s a cute rhymed book about babies who are put to sleep by their parents at night.
Who Made This Cake? by Chihiro Nakagawa
They use huge ingredients to make a huge cake. We loved the pictures of bulldozers and dump trucks moving mountains off of the ground. It wasn’t until the end of the book that we realized these were toy people and vehicles working together to make a normal-sized birthday cake, but we still loved the pictures. A book to read!
Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld
When it’s time to go to bed, the tough trucks will be ready. This is how it works: each machine stops working and snuggles up to sleep. This is how it works: each machine stops working and snuggles to sleep. This is a modern classic that has a lot of 5-star reviews on Amazon, but it wasn’t asked for very often at our house.
I’m Dirty,by Kate McMullan
I love reading this book out loud to myself. It doesn’t happen very often that I get to pretend to be a big, noisy backhoe and drive it around. In this book, there’s some counting practice mixed in. It’s punchy, loud, and just plain fun. You might want to be careful if your child likes to read lines from their favorite books out loud. I Stink, which is about a garbage truck, is also a book we enjoy. The garbage truck isn’t very nice.
What Can a Crane Pick Up? by Rebecca Kai Dotlich
I’m not very interested in construction equipment, but I love cranes. People have to point out one when they see one. I don’t know why. An interesting thing that cranes can lift is a submarine. This is a rhyming book about other things that cranes can lift.
Tip Tip Dig Dig,by Sue Fleiss
In this book, the text is so simple that even a preschooler can learn how to read it. DIG DIG DIG. We can use the digger to dig. With the crane, we can move, move, move. You get the gist. A beautiful book.
Roadwork, by Sally Sutton
This book about road building has a lot of fun rhymes and “sound words” (onomatopoeia), like “BUMP! WHUMP! WHOP!,” which are great. And then “Squelch! Squelch! SPLAT!!” was heard. It’s sure to be a hit with toddlers who love construction trucks.
Mike Mulligan and HisSteam Shovel,by Virginia Lee Burton
I’ve always been a fan of this old book about Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel, Mary Anne. People still want to know if Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne can dig the town hall basement in one day – or lose their pay. Because the book is so long and full of details, parents can get tired of reading it to their kids at times. You can be comforted that you’re reading your child a truly good story.
I Am a Backhoe, by Anna Grossnickle Hines
Children under the age of two will love how the little boy pretends to be different construction tools as he plays. It will be fun for preschoolers to try to figure out what the little boy is in before you turn the page. A great book!
Road Builders, by B.G. Hennessy
if you have road construction in your neighborhood or on your way to school, you should read this book. You and your child will be able to tell the cars apart after hearing this simple, step-by-step story about how a road is made.
Cars, Trucks, and Buses
If I Built A Car, by Chris Van Dusen
If you have a young child who likes to build things with legos, this book is a must. We love this book about a boy who wants to build a car. All kids and parents dream of having a backseat pool, an automated snack bar, and a lot of other fun things in their cars.
The Little Auto, by Lois Lenski
People who like to figure out how things work will enjoy this book. It’s also a good history lesson because the book was written in 1934. I like the page where the horse and buggy are on the road. Some of Lenski’s books are way too long for me, but this one is just right for me.
Katy and the Big Snow, by Virginia Lee Burton
Whenever the whole city of Geopolis is covered in snow, Katy is there to help. This old book might surprise you with how much your kids like it even though it has simple pictures and a lot of text. 🙂
The Three Little Rigs, by David Gordon
Big, bad wrecking balls come when the three little rigs go out into the world to build garages. Is it going to be over when he teams up with the mean magnet and cruel cuter? Even though the cranes are the little rigs’ best friends. All of my kids, even my kindergartener and second-grader, loved this book. It was very clever.
Trashy Town,by Andrea Zimmerman
Our family loves this. Mr. Gilly drives around Trashy Town and picks up trash. It says “Dump it in! Smash it down! Drive around a trashy town!” after each pick-up. A lot of people will like this book because of its simple illustrations, predictable text, and the fact that it talks about trash.
Rattletrap Car, by Phyllis Root
When my toddler and preschooler wanted to read this book again and again, I thought it was a joke. Papa and the three kids are hot. They want to drive to a nearby lake, but will their car be able to do it? At some point along the way, a tire comes off, the floor comes out and so does the gas tank. The engine comes out, too! The family comes up with a unique way to fix the car. They use chocolate marshmallow fudge delight as glue.
No, it’s not at all. Besides, the great pictures and rhythmic text will make your kids want to read more.
Cars: Rushing, Honking, Zooming, by Patricia Hubbell
We all thought this wacky, retro-style book about cars was so fun that I bought it for my youngest son’s second birthday. There are a lot of rhymes and other things to look for in the pictures that we enjoy. If you want to learn about almost any kind of transportation, Hubbell has a whole series for you. I find the other books to be too busy and hard to follow. At our house, they haven’t caught on.
I Love Trucks!, by Philemon Sturges
This book is a great way for toddlers to learn about trucks because it has simple words. But the bright pictures make it appealing to preschoolers, too. This book is also good for adults.
Duck in the Truck, by Jez Alborough
Fun: This rhymes about a duck who gets his truck stuck in mud and the animals who help him get out. He asked for this book every time we passed a library. For his third birthday, he got it.
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, by Mo Willems
The Pigeon books are a big hit in our house. It’s impossible not to laugh at them, and they’re so much fun to read aloud. Kids and parents might notice that the pigeon’s whining and arguing sounds a lot like their own.
The Wheels on the Bus,by Raffi
It’s possible to get many versions of this classic children’s song. This is the one that we own and that we like the best. There are pictures that look like they came from Europe and a song that we know. If you have a preschooler, he or she might like this one, too.
Go Dog, Go, by P.D. Eastman
Most of us have heard of this book, which was written 50 years ago and is still popular today. Easy to read: The book is also fun to listen to. There are a lot of dogs that are going all over the place. They end up at a party on top of a huge tree.
The Little Dump Truck, by Margery Cuyler
This is such a great book. It was written a few years ago. Rhyming text comes with each page’s big, colorful picture. “I’m a little dump truck that carries stones and rocks; I bump, bounce, thump, and cross city blocks.” My Three can’t get enough of this one!