Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to cars. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about cars.
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 cars, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things that Go to popular sellers like Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets to some of our favorite hidden gems like Sheep in a Jeep.
We hope this list of kids books about cars 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.
In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the summer after Harry’s first year at Hogwarts has been his worst summer ever… the Dursleys more distant and horrible than ever before. But just as he’s packing his bags to return to school, a creature named Dobby the house-elf announces that if Harry goes back to Hogwarts, disaster will strike. And it turns out, Dobby is right. Harry and Ron miss the Hogwarts Express, so they fly to school in a blue Ford Anglia, crash landing in the notorious Whomping Willow. Soon other worries accumulate: the outrageously stuck-up new professor Gilderoy Lockhart; a ghost named Moaning Myrtle, who haunts the girls’ bathroom; the strange behavior of Ron’s little sister, Ginny Weasley; rumors about the “Chamber of Secrets,” a cavern buried deep below Hogwarts; and a magical diary owned by Tom Riddle, a Hogwarts student of long ago. Harry is also shocked to discover that he can speak Parseltongue, the language of snakes - a rare ability that Lord Voldemort also possessed - and that anti-Muggle prejudice exists in the Wizarding world, even affecting Harry’s friend Hermione. But all of these seem like minor concerns when someone starts turning Hogwarts students to stone: an evildoer said to be the fearsome Heir of Salazar Slytherin, on of the founders of the school. Could it be Draco Malfoy, Harry’s most poisonous rival? Could it be Hagrid whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one person everyone at Hogwarts most suspects: Harry Potter himself?
Out for a drive in the country, Nancy Shaw and Margot Apple’s well-known and beloved sheep run into some mishaps with their sturdy red jeep.
The format of this book is akin to the very high-end Xavier Deneux books by Chronicle, with one part raised on one side of the page, which fits into a cut out on the other page, and is fun for little fingers to explore. I really enjoy that per the title it is a “clever colors book” that not only teaches colors, but also different types of transportation, and different words for groupings of vehicles (particularly since some are a little silly i.e. “a squeeze of buses”!) If your kid is into I-Spying in books, this is also great for pointing out different kinds of animals that ride in and drive these vehicles across the pages.
There are trucks and tractors, cars and buses rumbling through this lively and engaging colors book. Little learners will discover a rainbow of colors from red to blue and yellow and green in the brightly colored things that are splashed across the book pages. On the turn of every page, they’ll be excited to find raised vehicle shapes to touch, feel, and explore, that neatly tuck into the shaped spaces on the opposite page. Offering a tactile and visual experience that your child will want to repeat time and time again, A Traffic Jam of Trucks is just right for little hands!
Various disasters threaten to stop Poppa and the children from getting to the lake in their rattletrap car, but they manage to come up with an ingenious solution to each problem.
A vintage racing car, walled off in an old barn, is discovered by a boy and rebuilt with his father. Along the way, they discover that the car has a very special history and was once raced by the great Sir Stirling Moss.
If I Built a Car - “If I built a car, it’d be totally new! Here are a few of the things that I’d do. . . .” Jack has designed the ultimate fantasy car. Inspired by zeppelins and trains, Cadillacs and old planes, with brilliant colors and lots of shiny chrome, this far-out vision is ready to cruise! there’s a fireplace, a pool, and even a snack bar! After a tour of the ritzy interior, robert the robot starts up the motor . . . and Jack and his dad set off on the wildest test drive ever!
Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks from A to Z. - A miniature vehicle-filled alphabet book that starts with an ambulance and ends with a zippermobile is shaped like Lowly Worm’s applemobile. On board pages.
The Little School Bus - Join Driver Bob the school bus driver and his little school bus as they wake early, pick up the children, and drop them off at school. Then it’s off to the garage to fix a tail light. All in a day’s work for this trusty team. The lyrical text, catchy rhyme, and bright pictures make this a perfect choice for preschoolers who are soon to be school bus riders!
Little Blue Truck Leads the Way - Zooom! Wooeeee . . . ! “Make way!”The big city sure is a speedy, noisy place for a country truck like Blue. Everywhere Blue looks, he sees buses, police cars, taxis, vans, a street sweeper, and even the mayor’s limousine. With everyone pushing to be first, soon there’s a giant traffic jam! But even a wrangle-tangle is no match for Little Blue Truck, who comes to the rescue in true Blue style. Brimming with bright colors, sounds, and city energy, this adventure makes working together and taking turns more fun than ever. Now with a free downloadable party kit!
This book is bursting with cars, buses, planes, trains, trucks, diggers—and many more Things That Go. And with a text set to the tune of Baa, Baa, Black Sheep, vehicle-obsessed little ones will never want to put this book down!
The style of this book with the raised portions that fit beautifully into the page opposite is so fun for little hands to explore, and the breadth of vehicles from double-decker buses to trains to rocket ships is broad and fun! I really enjoy that because there are only a few vocabulary words without explanation provided per page, my toddler and I get to have an interactive experience reading this book and we can choose different parts to explore each time depending on our mood and the speed we’re going at!
Featuring spreads each with raised shaped objects that fit into scooped cutouts on their opposite page, these two new TouchThinkLearn books offer the youngest learners an irresistible opportunity to explore their universe in a hands-on, multisensory way. Seeing the image, tracing its shape, saying its name: these modes of perception combine in a dynamic way to stimulate understanding of essential concepts. Discover—and experience a train by tracing the raised railcar on one side and feeling the excavated shape of the track on the other! Clusters of related words on each spread offer parents and children a springboard for further conversations to encourage the language skills so crucial to later successful learning. In a format unlike any other, these groundbreaking books translate abstract thought into tangible knowledge.
This book in the Berenstain Bears series doesn’t have a huge storyline, but it is a fun story about the sure and steady winning the race! This could be a great starter to talk about good sportsmanship, and it’s a fun read.
Papa Bear and his family watch as the little red car competes in a race against the big orange, yellow, green, and blue cars.
With cute art and simple labels, Look Through: Things that Go is a great tool for early learning. This sturdy board book features unique raised shapes on every page. The playful die-cuts then fit into mirroring pages for added fun! Babies and toddlers will love the added elements as the shapes begin to transform from a helicopter into a boat and even a tractor into a fire truck! Look through the pages and learn all about vehicles.
Black car, green car, nice car, mean car. Near car, far car. Whoa! Bizarre car!
Ready to hit the road? Gear up for a nonstop parade of shapes, sizes, sounds, and even smells in a wild array of cars packed with big personalities, awesome features, and eccentric passengers. Driven by Peter Stein’s bouncing verse, Bob Staake’s high-powered artwork merges vibrant color and crisp, dynamic design with humor, warmth, and whimsy. This rousing excursion is sure to thrill all fans of things that go, as well as aficionados of the illustrator’s signature style.
All the Way to Havana - A boy helps his father keep their very old car running as they make a trip to Havana for his newborn cousin’s zero-year birthday. Includes author’s note about cars in Cuba.
First Baby Days: On the Move - A stimulating interactive first book to share with your baby. Trains, rockets, cars, and more! First Baby Days: On the Move features striking red, black, and white art meant to stimulate your baby’s vision as they are introduced to vehicles. Each scene can be extended by the pull-tabs included on each spread, making this book even more interactive.
The Truth about Bats - Ms. Frizzle takes her students all over the country looking for bats, and in the process the students learn all about these flying mammals.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - Two children persuade their inventor father to purchase and restore an old car which turns out to have magical powers.
“Little rig, little rig, let me come in!” “Not by the chrome on my chinny chin chin.” “Then I’ll crash and I’ll bash and I’ll smash your house in.” When the three little rigs set out to build their own garages, each one thinks that his is going to be the strongest. But then the big bad wrecking ball comes to call and threatens to smash their new homes to smithereens. The brothers learn that it’s only by bravery and teamwork that they can win the day. A comic sequel to the ugly truckling.
Mr. Small has a shiny red auto. On nice days, Mr. Small takes his car out of the garage and goes for a drive. He can drive fast enough to pass a horse and buggy! He runs into trouble when it begins to rain and he gets a flat tire. But he is able to fix the tire, the sun comes out, and Mr. Small drives his little auto back into the garage.
Uncle Otto is a used car salesman, who, with the help of his niece and nephew, finds the perfect vehicles for his dinosaur customers.
Some vehicles go VROOM! Some animals say ROAR! Put them both together and find out what’s in store
Imagine a different kind of hybrid on wheels: animalvehicle! The subway-snake slithers for commuters, the cowcars stop to graze in the field, the bear-bus scoots to the den for hibernation. What could be better than a mash-up of two of the best things: animals and things that go vroom!
Gus's Garage - Gus’s workshop is chock-full of odds and ends. When his friend Rico comes over with a problem—his scooter seat is way too small for a rhino—Gus finds just the thing to fix it. One by one Gus’s friends bring him their vehicles and Gus solves their troubles with ingenious solutions. No job is too difficult for Gus! Soon the workshop is almost empty. Is anything left to solve Gus’s own problem at the end of a long day? Gus’s Garage is Leo Timmers at his best: effortlessly simple text, intricately detailed illustrations, and vehicles galore.
Cars Go - Little ones will enjoy revving up their reading with these eight noisy cars as they honk, clank, vroom, and zoom their way through this lively book! The sturdy pages feature a police car, pick-up truck, sports car, monster truck, and many more, accompanied by a cacophony of sounds sure to charm any young vehicle enthusiast.
Cool Cars - Cars are really handy, for getting us around. They whiz along on busy roads, and make a zoomy sound. From race cars to limousines, cruise down the street with some wacky animal drivers in this lively story, now in an attractive board book format perfect for small hands. Young children will adore it as will the adults who get to read aloud these irresistible rhymes!
Rosa Plays Cars - Let’s find out which toys Rosa and her friends are playing with today! An important series that celebrates inclusivity, promotes gender equality and embraces the uniqueness of every child.
On their way to the beach for a picnic the Pig family encounters almost every kind of transportation vehicle imaginable—and imaginary.
Buckle up and get ready to ride with this interactive transportation exploration! Take a trip with the cars, trucks, boats, planes, and trains in this book by moving them along the track. Pass pop-up buildings like airports, gas stations, and markets along the way. This book is a must for kids who love everything on wheels!