Best Kids Books About Building

42 Kids Books About Building

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
Little Excavator book
#1
Little Excavator
Written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

From New York Times bestselling author-illustrator of the Llama Llama books comes a new character ready to dig his way into your heart! Here come the BIG RIGS rolling down the street. Thumpa-thumpa bumpa-bumpa BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! There’s Loader and Dump Truck, Backhoe and Crane. They’re ready to transform a vacant lot into a neighborhood park. And who wants to help most of all? Little Excavator! But are there any jobs for someone so small? Anna Dewdney’s signature rhyming text and inviting illustrations make this a perfect read aloud for for fans of things that go!

The Little Dump Truck book
#2
The Little Dump Truck
Written by Margery Cuyler and illustrated by Bob Kolar
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

A happy little dump truck, driven by Hard Hat Pete, hauls stones, rocks, and debris from a construction site to a landfill.

Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree book
#3
Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree
Written and illustrated by Naoko Stoop
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This new adventure with Red Knit Cap Girl and her friends uses simple prose and radiant illustrations to shine a light on the joy of reading and the importance of working together. One day Red Knit Cap Girl and her friends discover a hollow tree in the middle of the forest. What can be done with one ordinary tree? "I will keep my book in this nook so everyone can read it," Red Knit Cap Girl says. But the tree isn't only for books. Little by little, one by one, the animals share their unique gifts and turn the ordinary tree into a special spot for everyone to enjoy!

Trainbots book
#4
Trainbots
Written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Shane McG
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Trainbots are getting ready to make and deliver toybots for kids to play with, but it looks like the Badbots are sneaking and scheming to sabotage the delivery in this moving, grooving picture book! Trainbots boarding, how rewarding! Trainbots zooming, unassuming... Badbots peeking, sneaking, scheming, hopping, dropping--Badbots teeming! These Trainbots are getting ready to make and deliver toybots for kids to play with! They're drawing, sawing, and building to get the toybots ready to send, but it looks like the Badbots are sneaking and scheming to sabotage the delivery! Luckily, the Trainbots draft and craft and engineer and rockateer to outsmart the misbehaving Badbots. And once the toybots are delivered, the kids become their FRIEND-bots 'til-the-end bots!

The Patchwork Bike book
#5
The Patchwork Bike
Written by Maxine Beneba Clarke and illustrated by Van Thanh Rudd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

When you live in a village at the edge of the no-go desert, you need to make your own fun. That’s when you and your brothers get inventive and build a bike from scratch, using everyday items like an old milk pot (maybe Mum is still using it, maybe not) and a used flour sack. You can even make a license plate from bark if you want. The end result is a spectacular bike, perfect for whooping and laughing as you bumpetty bump over sand hills, past your fed-up mum and right through your mud-for-walls home.

Job Site book
#6
Job Site
Written and illustrated by Nathan Clement
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Shiny, huge, heavy machinery rolls onto the job site—the bulldozer, excavator, loader, and other construction vehicles all have important tasks to accomplish. Through double-page spreads of colorful digital artwork and succinct text, the reader witnesses the transformation of an empty lot to a community park orchestrated by the construction foreman with the help of some of the mightiest of machines.

The Alphabet from the Sky book
#7
The Alphabet from the Sky
Written and illustrated by Joey Lee, Benedikt Gross
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Discover the alphabet from a bird’s-eye view! Geographer and designer duo Benedikt Gross and Joey Lee have taken the alphabet to new heights—literally! Using satellite imagery and computer technology, the pair has discovered “accidental letters” all over the world: in roads, rivers, buildings, lakes, and more. Take a journey around the Earth in 26 letters with this special book.

Demolition book
#8
Demolition
Written by Sally Sutton and illustrated by Brian Lovelock
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Illustrations and rhyming text show the enormous and powerful machines that are used to demolish a building so that a playground can be built.

Mom and Dad's Go to Work book
#9
Mom and Dad's Go to Work
Written and illustrated by Alessandra Psacharopulo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Spend the day with mom and dad at work! Every child wants to know: what do mom and dad do all day? Kids can come along and see, with this entertaining board book that introduces a variety of professions. Some parents grab a medical bag, others put on a hard hat, and still more go to the office. But whatever they do, they all return home ready to hug their little ones.

Crash! Boom! a Math Tale book
#10
Crash! Boom! a Math Tale
Written by Robie H. Harris and illustrated by Chris Chatterton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

How do these blocks stack up? Gentle math concepts go down easy in this fun and accessible story for very young children by the esteemed Robie H. Harris. Elephant has a bucket of blocks and wants to build something tall. Something as tall as Elephant. But will it stay up? CRASH! BOOM! Not this time. Build it again? One block. Two blocks? Four blocks? It's still not as tall as Elephant. More blocks! Now will it stay up? Now will it be as tall as Elephant? Build, balance, count -- question, estimate, measure -- predict, crash, and build again! Young children will happily follow along as Elephant goes through the ups and downs of creating something new and finally celebrates the joy and pride of success.

Bigger! Bigger! book
#11
Bigger! Bigger!
Written and illustrated by Leslie Patricelli
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

The star of Faster! Faster! and Higher! Higher! dons a construction hat for another soaring (and slightly interrupted) exercise in imagination. A box of blocks. A budding builder. Should she build a doghouse? A bridge? A skyscraper? Yes, all of these and more! Bigger, bigger! BIGGEST! But then . . . Boom! Boom! What's that? Uh-oh . . . After one little girl's architectural masterpieces grow exponentially, the arrival of an assistant presents a bit of a challenge in this ode to creativity masterfully constructed by Leslie Patricelli.

Bird Builds a Nest book
#12
Bird Builds a Nest
Written by Martin Jenkins and illustrated by Richard Jones
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

It’s time for Bird to build her nest! Follow her as she pulls a worm out of the ground, lifts some twigs that are just the right size, and pushes the twigs into place. Uh-oh! One of the twigs falls to the ground! But after a day of hard work, Bird’s nest is ready and waiting. Can you guess what it’s waiting for? Using simple, clear language and beautiful illustrations, this engaging story is the perfect introduction to physical forces for very young readers. A final spread with some simple questions promotes discussion with parents, teachers, or caregivers and encourages readers to think about the concepts introduced. A gentle, sweetly illustrated concept book takes on physical forces as young children learn about pushing and pulling.

 Sandcastle That Lola Built book
#13
Sandcastle That Lola Built
Written by Megan Maynor and illustrated by Kate Berube
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Lola is building her dream sandcastle—one with a tall, tall tower and sea glass that sends signals to mermaids. But the beach is crowded, and soon enough, a boy steps on her castle. Not to worry! Lola recruits him to build a wall. When a toddler with a bulldozer starts digging too close the walls, Lola decides he can be in charge of digging the moat. As the sandcastle grows, so does Lola’s friendly group of helpers. There’s only one thing that Lola doesn’t want near the sandcastle: a wave! Will the new friends be able to salvage the mermaids’ castle when their hard work is washed away?

Square book
#14
Square
Written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

The beguiling second entry in the innovative shape trilogy by multi-award-winning, New York Times best-selling duo Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen. This book is about Square. Square spends every day taking blocks from a pile below the ground to a pile above the ground. This book is also about Square's friend Circle. Circle thinks Square is an artistic genius. But is he really? With the second story in a trilogy of tales about Triangle, Square, and Circle, Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen nudge readers toward a more well-rounded way of looking at things. Understated and striking in its simplicity, this funny, thoughtful offering from two of today's most talented picture-book creators emphasizes the importance of keeping your eyes -- and your mind -- open to wonder where others see only rubble and rocks.

How to Build a Hug book
#15
How to Build a Hug
Written by Jacqueline Tourville, Amy Guglielmo and illustrated by Giselle Potter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Amy Guglielmo, Jacqueline Tourville, and Giselle Potter come together to tell the inspiring story of autism advocate Dr. Temple Grandin and her brilliant invention: the hug machine. As a young girl, Temple Grandin loved folding paper kites, making obstacle courses, and building lean-tos. But she really didn’t like hugs. Temple wanted to be held—but to her, hugs felt like being stuffed inside the scratchiest sock in the world; like a tidal wave of dentist drills, sandpaper, and awful cologne, coming at her all at once. Would she ever get to enjoy the comfort of a hug? Then one day, Temple had an idea. If she couldn’t receive a hug, she would make one…she would build a hug machine!

What Can You Do with a Toolbox? book
#16
What Can You Do with a Toolbox?
Written by Anthony Carrino, John Colaneri and illustrated by Maple Lam
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From HGTV stars, cousins, and best friends John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino comes a fun-filled picture book that introduces young readers to the tools in a toolbox and how to use them. A hammer. Nails. A screwdriver. How do we use them? Using simple language, cousins Anthony and John introduce kids to tools and their uses. As their construction project grows, so does the number of kids helping. At the end, they reveal exactly what you can do with a toolbox: We can build a playground!

Day at the Beach book
#17
Day at the Beach
Written and illustrated by Tom Booth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A day at the beach becomes a lesson in sibling bonding for Gideon in this magical picture book. Every summer, Gideon and his younger sister Audrey build a sand castle—together. But this summer, everything changes. Gideon is going to build the most spectacular sandcastle anyone on the beach has ever seen. And he’s going to do it on his own—without any help from his sister. But much to his surprise, Gideon discovers that building together is more fun and that everyone has their own unique talent when it comes to creativity and imagination, even Audrey.

Tractor Mac Builds a Barn book
#18
Tractor Mac Builds a Barn
Written and illustrated by Billy Steers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Tractor Mac and friends celebrate autumn festivals in this paperback edition which includes two pages of stickers!

The Town of Turtle book
#19
The Town of Turtle
Written by Michelle Cuevas and illustrated by Catia Chien
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

When a solitary turtle decides to make some renovations to his shell, he doesn’t have a blueprint, only a dream for a better life. He starts by building a deck—though he figures the deck could use a fireplace. And a fireplace needs wood, so naturally, he plants a garden. But it isn’t really a garden without a pond . . . Soon, Turtle can barely recognize his own shadow. Finally satisfied with the intricate world upon his back, word begins to spread of the magical “Town of Turtle,” attracting newcomers from far and wide. All are welcome in Turtle’s town, where life is a little less lonely, if only you come out of your shell.

With My Hands: Poems About Making Things book
#20
With My Hands: Poems About Making Things
Written by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater and illustrated by Steve Johnson, Lou Fancher
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Building, baking, folding, drawing, shaping . . . making something with your own hands is a special, personal experience. Taking an idea from your imagination and turning it into something real is satisfying and makes the maker proud. With My Hands is an inspiring invitation to tap into creativity and enjoy the hands-on energy that comes from making things.

Frog and Beaver book
#21
Frog and Beaver
Written and illustrated by Simon James
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A new neighbor with huge plans turns life upside down for animals who live on the river in a charming ecological fable from Simon James. Frog and his friends live happily together on the river. At least they do until Beaver comes along. Beaver is determined to build the biggest and best dam anyone has ever seen, and he doesn't stop to think about what that will mean for everyone else's homes. Frog tries to tell Beaver that his dam is getting too big, but Beaver just won't listen. Before long, Beaver's dam is so huge that it stops all the water in the river, and Frog and his friends must move upstream. But diverted water also needs somewhere to go, and soon Beaver will learn that only one force is stronger than a mighty river -- friendship.

Bunny Built book
#22
Bunny Built
Written and illustrated by Michael Slack
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

A construction bunny learns a creative lesson in sharing and friendship when he meets the biggest carrot of his life. LaRue was very handy. His toolbox had everything and industrious bunny could ever need. Everything, that is, except carrots. But then LaRue stumbles onto a special seed. With proper tending, this seed quickly grows into an ENORMOUS CARROT! What's a bunny to do with so much carrot? In a stroke of construction genius (and generosity), LaRue has the answer. This clever story celebrates just what it means to be a friend. A Christy Ottaviano Book

Kitten Construction Company: Meet the House Kittens book
#23
Kitten Construction Company: Meet the House Kittens
Written and illustrated by John Patrick Green
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

All Marmalade wants to do is build things. She is, after all, a trained architect. She’s also a distractingly adorable kitten. Fed up with not being taken seriously because she's so cute,Marmalade bands together with a handful of other aspiring builders—all of themkittens. But in a world where humans call the shots, can the KittenConstruction Company prove their worth . . . without giving up the very thingsthat make them kittens? (Don't worry, dear reader, the answer is definitely"yes"!)

The House That Jane Built book
#24
The House That Jane Built
Written by Tanya Lee Stone and illustrated by Kathryn Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

How to Build a Car book
#25
How to Build a Car
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Learn about car mechanics and teamwork as three unlikely friends work to build a miniature racer. In How to Build a Car, three unlikely friends--Eli, a mouse; Phoebe, a sparrow; and Hank, a frog--decide to build a small motorcar together. The story follows the friendly trio as they learn all about how a car works and how it is constructed. Detailed illustrations show the inner workings of the car, teaching children the basics of how each part works together to get the car moving. Through hard work and perseverance, Eli, Phoebe, and Hank learn about both car mechanics and teamwork as they build a miniature racer. With the help of this sweet story, children will learn the different parts and functions of a car.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.