Virtually every child has a phase where they are fascinated by cars, trucks and anything else that moves people or things. It is one of the most common questions I get asked and while it is easy to point people to the non-fiction section on cars and trucks (629.2) or trains (385) it can be harder to find picture books on those beloved subjects. Here's a list of some of my favorites.
My Car by Byron Barton
I love these books because they are so straightforward and kid friendly. Very few words on each page and a extremely simple story accompanied by big bright pictures that kids love. There is also My Bike, My Bus, Trains, Boats, and Airplanes all by the same author. Most are available in either board book or picture book format.
I'm Fast! by Kate McMullan
Kate McMullan is another great author for this genre of books. They are a little longer and more involved than the Barton books and they talk about some less common transportation vehicles like garbage trucks (I Stink) and zambonis (I'm Cool) as well as the more common ones like trains and cars.
Yellow Copter by Kersten Hamilton
The Hamilton books (which include Red Truck and Blue Boat) remind me of the Barton books with their bold bright pictures. These have more of a story however and you gotta love a good helicopter book- they are few and far between.
Cars Galore by Peter Stein
The title kind of says it all for this book. Pictures of every kind of car imaginable populate the pages of this fun book. This is one that's great for kids to look at on their own or for adults to talk about the different cars on each page- there isn't much of a plot built in to the book.
Choo Choo Clickety Clack by Mayo
This book is made to be read aloud- filled with fun sounds and rhymes kids will love- all celebrating different kinds of vehicles. The only problem is that it is usually checked out!
Truck Stop by Anne Rockwell
I like this one because it takes a different approach. The story is about a boy and his family who work at a big truck stop. He gets to watch all the different vehicles come in throughout the day to get food and truck repairs.
The Bus is for us by Michael Rosen
In this celebratory story kids imagine all sorts of ways to travel from one place to another before deciding that the bus is the best option. Super cute and beautifully illustrated this is another great read aloud thanks to the rhyming text.
Number One Sam by Greg Pizzoli
Given the Cars movie franchise it is surprisingly hard to find good picture books about race cars. This is probably my favorite of the few- an endearing story of friendship and figuring out what really matters in life.
Chugga Chugga Choo Choo by Emma Garcia
I love anything Emma Garcia writes. She also has another great transportation book Toot Toot Beep Beep. This one follows a train as it makes its journey to all sorts of destinations.
I Love Planes by Philemon Sturges
This is another straight forward picture book detailing all different kinds of airplanes. Fun and to the point.