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Buildings And Structures: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about buildings and structures?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to buildings and structures. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about buildings and structures.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about buildings and structures, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Hospital to popular sellers like Madeline to some of our favorite hidden gems like When Jackie Saved Grand Central.

We hope this list of kids books about buildings and structures can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Madeline
Written & illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines the smallest one was Madeline.”

Nothing frightens Madeline—not tigers, not mice, not even getting sick. With its endearing, courageous heroine, cheerful humor, and wonderful, whimsical drawings of Paris, the Madeline stories are true classics that continue to charm readers even after 75 years!

When Jackie Saved Grand Central
Written by Natasha Wing & illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Before she was an iconic First Lady of the United States, Jackie Kennedy was a born-and-raised New Yorker. She loved everything about her city, from the natural beauty of the parks to the architectural history of the buildings. So when the owners of Grand Central wanted to build a skyscraper on top of the famous train station, Jackie knew they had to be stopped. She helped inspire thousands of people to come together and fight to protect the historic landmark. From letter-writing campaigns all the way to the Supreme Court, this little-known story celebrates winning in the face of immeasurable odds and how one person can make a big difference.

Baby 101: Architecture for Babies
Written by Jonathan Litton & illustrated by Thomas Elliott
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-3

It’s never too early to get an A+ in architecture! Here’s a fun new board book series that introduces a wide array of nonfiction subjects to babies and toddlers. Welcome to Baby 101, where big subjects are tailored for little babies. Featuring simple words and bright and engaging illustrations, this introduction to architecture includes information about how buildings are made, featuring famous sites like the Colosseum, the Taj Mahal, and the pyramids. So don’t be late, because this is one class that babies won’t want to miss. Look for the surprise lift-the-flap ending!

Berenstain Bears: Hospital Friends
Written & illustrated by Mike Berenstain
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The Berenstain Bears take a trip to the hospital and get a special tour! While Brother and Sister Bear see all the amazing things that happen in the hospital, they make new friends along the way! Young readers will learn about doctors, nurses, patients, and more in this fun and informative 8x8 storybook.

Alamo All-Stars
Written & illustrated by Nathan Hale
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

“”Remember the Alamo!” That rallying cry has been a part of Texas lore for generations. But who were the ragtag group of adventurers behind the famous slogan, and how did they end up barricaded in a fort against a Mexican army? Who survived, who died, and how? This sixth book in the bestselling Hazardous Tales series tracks the Lone Star State’s bloody fight for independence from the Mexican government. It features the exploits of the notorious Jim Bowie, as well as Stephen Austin, Davy Crockett, and other settlers and soldiers who made the wild frontier of Texas their home—all told with the inimitable style and humor for which Nathan Hale is known”—

  • Demolition - What’s even more exciting to preschoolers than seeing big machines that build things? Watching the massive ones that tear them down! Crush the stone. Crush the stone. Chip and grind and munch. Make new concrete from the old. Whirr! Churr! Crunch! From the huge crane with a swinging ball (crack! ) to the toothy jaws that ram the walls (thwock! ), this rambunctious demolition, reverberating with sound words, is guaranteed to have small kids rapt. Bright spreads showcase the gargantuan machines in all their glory, and a pictorial glossary explains what each one can do.

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

  • Larry Gets Lost in New York City - Follow Larry as he ping-pongs around the city, hitting all five boroughs in a day, and the places and things that make New York City what it is: hot dogs, Times Square, Wall Street, Radio City Music Hall, Coney Island, Madison Square Garden, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Greenwich Village, and Central Park, among others.

  • The Hostile Hospital - The Baudelaires need a safe place to stay—somewhere far away from terrible villains and local police. A quiet refuge where misfortune never visits. Might Heimlich Hospital be just the place? In Lemony Snicket’s eighth ghastly installment in A Series of Unfortunate Events, I’m sorry to say that the Baudelaire orphans will spend time in a hospital where they risk encountering a misleading newspaper headline, unnecessary surgery, an intercom system, anesthesia, heart-shaped balloons, and some very startling news about a fire.

The Doll Hospital
Written by Kallie George & illustrated by Sara Gillingham
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s a quiet morning at the Doll Hospital until… DING-A-LING-A-LING! The emergency bells ring! Here comes a patient who needs Dr. Pegs’s help. Dr. Pegs is about to get to work when… DING-A-LING-A-LING! Here comes another patient! And another! How will Dr. Pegs take care of them all? Looks like the doctor needs some help herself!

School's First Day of School
Written by Adam Rex & illustrated by Christian Robinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary and everyone’s just a little bit nervous, especially the school itself. What will the children do once they come? Will they like the school? Will they be nice to him? The school has a rough start, but as the day goes on, he soon recovers when he sees that he’s not the only one going through first-day jitters.

Bubble
Written & illustrated by Stewart Foster
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-10

Wonder meets Mark Haddon in the poignant and uplifting debut novel about superheroes, super-nurses, and the beauty you can find in hope. Eleven-year-old Joe has never had a life outside of the hospital, with its beeping machines and view of London’s rooftops. His condition means he’s not allowed outside, not even for a moment, and his few visitors risk bringing life-threatening germs inside his bubble. Then a new nurse offers Joe the possibility of going outside. But Joe doesn’t know if the nurse is serious—or whether he could survive the adventure. Bubble is the touching story of how Joe spends his days, copes with his loneliness and frustration, and looks—with superhero-style bravery, curiosity, and hope—to a future without limits.

Old Penn Station
Written & illustrated by William Low
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

An illustrated account of the construction, history, and demolition of one of the most famous railroad stations in America— New York City’s Penn Station.

Unbuilding
Written & illustrated by David Macaulay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

This fictional account of the dismantling and removal of the Empire State Building describes the structure of a skyscraper and explains how such an edifice would be demolished.

  • Skyscraper - Acclaimed picture book creator Jorey Hurley whose work has been called “stunning” and “dramatic” tells the story perfect for the youngest reader of all the different and mighty trucks it takes to build a city skyscraper! What once was a vacant lot, watch as truck by truck, a towering skyscraper is built in this beautifully illustrated picture book about trucks and construction. This beautiful picture book includes a glossary of fourteen truck images and their names.

  • Kasey & Ivy - Through twenty-six letters to her friend Nina, twelve-year-old Kasey chronicles the often humorous observations and impressions of her unexpected, month-long stay in a geriatric ward for the treatment of a rare but treatable bone disease (“osteo-something-something-itis”). Kasey tries to make her life less dull by wearing her own nightgowns, surrounding herself with her favorite stuffies and developing an unusual exercise routine. Hospital food, insomnia and the germy communal bath are enduring sources of dread, but some new (and unexpected) friends make her life bearable.

  • Instructions for a Secondhand Heart - A moving novel about grief, guilt, and the unpredictability of love, for fans of Everything, Everything and All the Bright Places. Jonny knows better than anyone that life is full of cruel ironies. He’s spent every day in a hospital hooked up to machines to keep his heart ticking. Then when a donor match is found for Jonny’s heart, that turns out to be the cruelest irony of all. Because for Jonny’s life to finally start, someone else’s had to end. That someone turns out to be Neve’s twin brother, Leo. When Leo was alive, all Neve wanted was for him (and all his glorious, overshadowing perfection) to leave. Now that Leo’s actually gone forever, Neve has no idea how to move forward. Then Jonny walks into her life looking for answers, her brother’s heart beating in his chest, and everything starts to change. Together, Neve and Jonny will have to face the future, no matter how frightening it is, while also learning to heal their hearts, no matter how much it hurts. The final book will feature select illustrations from “Jonny’s” sketchbook.

  • Dig, Dump, Roll - Diggers, dump trucks, rollers, and more—it takes a lot of big, noisy machines to build a school! Every young child who has ever gawked at a building site will gravitate to this exciting new entry in the kid pleasing Construction Crew series.

Urgency Emergency! Baaad Sheep
Written & illustrated by Dosh Archer
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Three sheep arrive at City Hospital with upset tummies. Have they had too much fun and soda pop at Old MacDonald’s farm? The gas inside their bellies is building up quickly! Can Doctor Glenda and Nurse Percy save the day once again? With brightly colored illustrations on every page, minimal easy-to-read text, and a brilliantly fast-paced plot, this animal hospital adventure based on the Little Bo Peep and Old MacDonald nursery rhymes will have young readers gulping up the pages!

Up! Up! Up! Skyscraper
Written by Anastasia Suen & illustrated by Ryan O Rourke
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Snappy rhymes invite young readers to watch workers dig, pour, pound, and bolt a skyscraper into existence. Simple yet satis-fying sidebars provide further information about each step in the construction process. Perfect for preschoolers and all those who dig diggers.

Quirky, colorful art enhance the appeal of a construction site with all the equipment and sounds of building.

The 2017 Summer Reading Theme: Build a Better World!

Maisy Goes to the Hospital
Written & illustrated by Lucy Cousins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

One day as Maisy is bouncing on her trampoline, she bounces a LITTLE too high. Oh, no! What will happen after she falls and hurts her leg? Maisy’s friend Charley goes with her to the hospital, where X-rays, a cast, and an overnight stay ensue. Maisy feels strange to be away from home, but a friendly patient soon helps her feel better. Little readers will be relieved and intrigued to share a memorable — and perhaps familiar — experience with Maisy.

Hospital
Written & illustrated by Jess Stockham
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

How long will I be there? Will I stay the night? Who will look after me? Reading Hospital with your child is the perfect opportunity to talk about these questions, and many more!

Ruby in the Ruins
Written & illustrated by Shirley Hughes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

From beloved British storyteller Shirley Hughes comes a touching tale of unconditional love as a family puts itself back together in postwar London. Ruby and Mum cling to each other while they live through the terrifying London Blitz, waiting for Dad to come home from the war. Day after day they hope for his return — but when the moment to meet him at the station finally comes, Ruby hardly recognizes the tall man who steps off the train. He’s big and sunburned, and he doesn’t seem to be as engaged as he once was. It’s easier to play outside in the wreckage of the bombings than to stay at home with a dad she doesn’t know anymore. But when Ruby hurts her knee in the ruins, there’s only one person who can rescue her and make her feel all right.

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