PickyKidPix‘s assistant soccer coach has a two-year-old son and he asked me for truck books because he is a little tired of reading Thomas the Train and Mater from Cars books. We both live in Newton, Massachusetts. One of our very favorite authors, Virginia Lee Burton, also lived here so I’ve added two of her books to this list.
Our car had to be towed in a flatbed tow truck. My son thought it was so cool!
What are your favorite truck books? Please share!
12 Favorite Truck Books
1. Mighty Dads by Joan Holub, illustrated by James Dean
Parental fatherly trucks teach their kids both life lessons and how to work their truck equipment.
shows Dozy right from wrong
[picture book, ages 2 and up]
2. Alphabet Trucks by Samantha R. Vamos
Did you know there are more than 26 different kinds of trucks — one for each letter of the alphabet?! Each letter of the alphabet is accounted for in this introductory concept book for young readers. From the familiar to the unusual, Samantha Vamos writes in snappy verse to present twenty-six different kinds of trucks, explaining where they work and what they do. [picture book, ages 2 and up]
3. I Stink! by Kate and Jim McMullen
Do you know what your trash truck does all night while you are sleeping? It’s hard and stinky work but it will delight your toddler or preschooler! [picture book, ages 2 and up]
4. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
No one wants Mary Anne, Mike Mulligan’s outdated steam shovel, but he loves her and he’s kept her in such good shape that she’s still running like new. He decides to prove to the town of Popperville that Mary Anne can dig as much in a day as one hundred men can dig in a week by digging their new town hall basement in just one day. Will this be the chance Mary Anne needs to avoid the city dump? [picture book, ages 3 and up]
5. Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton
We’ve had a lot of snow this past winter and we could have used Katy! I picture my town as the town where Katy, an untiring snowplow tractor, digs out the roads so the townspeople can do their jobs. [picture book, ages 3 and up]
6. Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry
The glorious beauty of Richard Scarry’s books is that it is also for Kids That Go! Kids who can’t keep still will be mesmerized by the volume of captivating illustrations and interesting tidbits about cars and trucks. There’s something on every page to pore over and this is one book that you can read over and over again without going nuts! [picture book, ages 2 and up]
7. DinoTrux by Chris Gall
What if you take a truck and a dinosaur and combine them? And they come to life? The DinoTrux are back in prehistoric times but Revenge of the DinoTrux comes to a town like yours! It’s an irresistible combination for little boys! [picture book, ages 2 and up]
8. Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton and Tom Lichtenheld
If a Shark faced off against a Train, who do you think would win? I guess it would depend on the contest. Shark and Train egg each other on for numerous competitions including burping, bowling, Ping Pong, piano playing, and pie eating. Who are you rooting for? [picture book, ages 2 and up]
9. Hot Rod Hamster by Cynthia Lord
My son and I had hours of fun reading this rhyming racing picture book by Cynthia Lord. I loved the usual pattern of rhymes:
Great day, grin day, build a car to win day,
Cheer day, chase day, gonna have a race day!
I need a hot rod!
My son loved choosing out the different parts from the illustrations to construct his own imaginary race car alongside the hamster! [picture book, ages 2 and up]
10. Planes Go by Steve Light
If you love to make noises to amuse your kids while you read aloud, this oversized rectangular board book will have you imitating the noises of a seaplane, a helicopter, a jumbo jet, a propeller plane, a fighter plane, a blimp, a supersonic jet, and a space shuttle.
Here’s how a supersonic jet goes:
vvvvvvvvvvvvvrrrrrrrrrrr ba-BOOOOOOM rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
More Great Truck Books
Big Truck Super Wash by Stephen R. Swinburne, illustrated by James Rey Sanchez
Big trucks that go through a truck wash is a different fun take on the truck theme. The text is rhyming and occasionally breaks meter which can be frustrating for the reader, but kids will only notice that some of their favorite trucks — excavator, garbage truck, dump truck, and 18-wheeler– are getting a bath. [picture book, ages 3 and up]
Big Truck Little Island by Chris Van Dusen
This rhyming picture book is fun to read as it has perfect meter and an interesting conundrum. The illustrations show the scenes from different angles, both zooming in and out, to drama that matches the text. When families are stuck both in front and behind the truck, the children come up with a great solution. This is one of my favorite picture books on this list! [picture book, ages 3 and up]
Vehicles ABC by Jannie Ho
Jannie Ho has 26 ways to get around. From A to Z, her charming illustrations are a fun way to learn about vehicles. The smallest passengers will enjoy this board book on their ride whether it’s by plane, train, automobile, or another mode. [board book, ages 2 and up]
The Little Snowplow Wishes for Snow by Lora Koehler, illustrated by Jake Parker
Little Snowplow helps out the Mighty Mountain Road Crew at a construction site, but he loves plowing snow but it never seems to come! The first day of winter is coming up and perhaps that will bring some snow! But no, there is no big snow dump. Finally, on Little Snowplow’s birthday, the big snow arrives! He gets to work plowing the streets and when he’s done, there is a big surprise in store for him!
My kids who Nordic ski (cross-country ski) feel the same way about waiting impatiently for snow. The artificial snow just doesn’t do it for them. Pair this with Katy and the Big Snow to compare and contrast. [picture book, ages 3 and up]
Little Yellow Truck by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Kevin Zimmer
The job was an important one: building a children’s playground and all the trucks in Riley’s lumberyard are excited to help. Little Yellow truck waits and waits but it seems like all the other bigger trucks have all the important tasks. Finally, Riley calls for Little Yellow with the perfect job that makes the playground complete. Eve Bunting brings a message of self-empowerment that one person, (or truck) no matter how small, can make a big difference. [picture book, ages 5 and up]
Dig, Dump, Roll by Sally Sutton, illustrated by Brian Lovelock
Onomatopeia rhymes set up a guessing game for figuring out which truck it is. The illustrations help to set up the puzzle by showing a partial image of the truck. Kids who like to act out noises when playing with their trucks will especially enjoy this picture book! [picture book, ages 3 and up]
Mighty, Mighty Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld
There are a lot of trucks at the construction site! The five-truck crew will need help today. Learn about Bulldozer, Skid Steer Loader, Excavator, Cement Mixer, Bulldozer, Backhoe, Crane Truck, Flatbed Truck, Front-End Loader, Dump Truck, Cement Mixer, and Pumper. They all worked together to complete the job. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Three Cheers for Kid McGear! by Sherri Duskey Rinker and AG Ford
The illustrator is different, but this book feels like a sequel to the wildly popular Mighty, Mightly Construction Site. Kids will enjoy the rollicking rhyming text featuring a fleet of construction trucks, including a new kid who gets shunted aside only to be the only one able to save the day. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
A Fire Truck Named Red by Randall de Sève, illustrated by Bob Staake
Rowan wanted a shiny, new fire truck for his birthday, but he got his grandfather’s old fire truck instead. It’s rusty and worn out. His father promises to fix it up better than new. As they work on the truck, his father recounts his own adventures playing with this truck when he was a little boy. Rowan gets pulled into his father’s stories. When the truck is spruced up, he’s excited to play with it. This delightful picture book reminds us of the value of vintage and the multi-generational ties that connect us. This is the perfect picture book for a grandfather to gift to a grandson! [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Old MacDonald Had a Truck by Steve Goetz, illustrated by Eda Kaban
Set to the classic folk song Old MacDonald Had a Farm, this Old MacDonald has a bevy of construction vehicles on his farm from excavators to front loaders! Little boys who love watching construction vehicles (like mine in preschool) will love this spin on a familiar song! [picture book, ages 2 and up]
Truck by Donald Crews from Barbara of Little Miss History
Dalmatian in a Digger by Rebecca Elliott
All kinds of animals are at work with different kinds of trucks! This is a fun picture book to explore alliteration onomatopoeia! [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Mucky Truck by Ammi-Joan Paquette, illustrated by Elisa Ferro
This picture book is a rhyming adventure of trucks that get stuck in the mud. There is one spread that breaks the rhyming scheme:
What we need is water.
Lots and lots of water!
But where can we find it?
I find that part to disrupt the rollicking rhythm of the story. I wish that part was also set in the same rhyming pattern as the majority of the book. I don’t the other parts that broke the rhythm because there a consistent pattern:
Crane can help!
Swing that boom…
This is a still fun story for kids who love truck adventures. The vibrant illustrations make this a fun read. [picture book, ages 2 and up]
On the Site Activity Book: Sticker and Punch-Out
Pair any of the truck picture books with this activity book, perfect for travel or no-screen entertainment! [activity book, ages 2 and up]
To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.
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