Construction lovers will delight in these playful (and also informative!) books about construction sites, workers and of course… trucks! This list will help you revisit a classic like Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site or discover a hidden gem like Old McDonald Had a Truck. Whatever you’re looking for, get ready for some rough and tough construction play!
Backhoe Joe - Fans of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker, Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? by Brianna Caplan Sayres, and Kate McMullan will be thrilled by this celebrated and endearing picture book about a young boy with a dream of owning the perfect pet. When Nolan finds a stray backhoe in the street, he can’t wait to adopt it. But this backhoe is not very well behaved. As Nolan tries to train his new pet truck, he learns that maybe this backhoe already has a home… This delightful story of a boy and his construction vehicle is brought to life with Craig Cameron’s vibrant illustrations, making this the perfect addition to every young reader’s library.
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel - A modern classic that no child should miss. Since it was first published in 1939, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel has delighted generations of children. Mike and his trusty steam shovel, Mary Anne, dig deep canals for boats to travel through, cut mountain passes for trains, and hollow out cellars for city skyscrapers — the very symbol of industrial America. But with progress come new machines, and soon the inseparable duo are out of work. Mike believes that Mary Anne can dig as much in a day as one hundred men can dig in a week, and the two have one last chance to prove it and save Mary Anne from the scrap heap. What happens next in the small town of Popperville is a testament to their friendship, and to old-fashioned hard work and ingenuity.
Wheels at Work: Construction - Digging, pushing, mixing and tipping! Lift the flap to see each vehicle busy at work. Perfect for guessing, prediction and memory skills – and simply joining in!
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.
Want to see books about construction vehicles?
Bulldozer Dreams - After a long day of clearing dirt, rocks, and trees, a bulldozer is tired and ready for bed. He lifts up his blade, his spotlights flash on, he rolls through the gate, and lets out a yawn. He heads to the Wiggle and Shake for a bath, then to the Sip and Slurp for some supper, then chooses a bedtime story . . . and soon the bulldozer will be dreaming sweet dreams of finishing his important work! Construction vehicle fans young and old will delight in this imaginative book of how a bulldozer prepares for bed. Sharon Chriscoe’s irresistibly clever and gentle rhyming verse and John Joven’s charming illustrations are sure to soothe even the busiest of kids at bedtime.
Cement Mixer's ABC - Sing along with these construction ABCs! Cement Mixer churns out a rollicking alphabet rhyme that makes work light and teaches little readers the words of the construction site, from A to Z.
Let Me Sleep, Sheep! - Amos is counting himself to sleep. It’s a good plan, until the cranky sheep land in his bedroom — and start in with their many demands. It’s bedtime for Amos, who smiles as he closes his eyes and counts some fluffy sheep trotting away in the grass. Until suddenly . . . THUD. And then another. “Not again!” says the first sheep, now on Amos’s floor. “I was having my wool clipped,” grumbles the second. None too happy at being interrupted, the woolly pair fire a battery of questions at Amos, most importantly: “Where’s the fence?” So Amos sets out to build one to their specifications, then is asked to test it out, of course. . . . In this laugh-out-loud read-aloud, a couple of crafty sheep put a child through his paces — and show that a tuckered-out kid at bedtime is a win-win all around.
Excavator's 123 - The construction crew is counting on Excavator, and he won’t let them down! Little readers can count along from 1 to 10 as Excavator revs into action on the construction site. Ready? 1, 2, 3 . . . GO!
Want to see books about bedtime and dreams?
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.
Crane and Crane - A sandhill crane lifts a stick. A construction crane lifts a log. The two cranes grab, stretch, and stack, working through bad weather and difficult obstacles toward their end goal: building a home for a new family. Told in a simple sequence of verbs, this colorful picture book demonstrates how the mechanical world mirrors the natural world.
One House - Crabs with clipboards and bears who build are some of the animals who come together in One House to DIY a new home from start to finish for their friend. Plans are drafted, holes are dug, and construction begins! This board book will delight little ones with its quirky illustrations and rhyming countdown. With teamwork, generosity and some special skills, it’s amazing what these critters can accomplish!
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.
Manjhi Moves a Mountain - Dashrath Manjhi used a hammer and chisel, grit, determination, and twenty years to carve a path through the mountain separating his poor village from the nearby village with schools, markets, and a hospital. Manjhi Moves a Mountain shows how everyone can make a difference if your heart is big enough.
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.
Construction - Digging, pushing, mixing and tipping! Lift the flap to see each vehicle busy at work.
Want to see books about hard work?
Three Cheers for Kid McGear! - She might be small, but she’s got it all-she’s Kid McGear, Skid Steer! Kid McGear is the newest truck to join the Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site crew, and she’s eager to help with even the roughest and toughest construction work. But when a steep cliff puts the other trucks in danger, can the new Kid on the site prove she’s big enough for even this big, big job? Playful rhyming text from the bestselling team behind Construction Site on Christmas Night makes this thrilling tale of teamwork and the BIG potential in the littlest readers a must-have read-aloud for construction fans both big and small.
The Wheels on the Dump Truck - From the author of the beloved Itsy Bitsy board book series comes a construction site adventure all about construction vehicles. An action-packed yet adorable story, The Wheels on the Dump Truck is the third book in a new series that is perfect for parents and little ones who love things that go. Follow dump trucks, bulldozers, excavators, and more as cute animal workers build, build, build!
The Night Henry Ford Met Santa - Could Henry Ford have taken his idea for an automobile assembly line from the elves at the North Pole? Maybe so. Set just before Christmas in 1908, this charming tale finds Henry Ford puzzling over a way to make his Model T affordable for the average family. His little son Edsel suggests that Daddy write to Santa for advice. Since Santa makes toys for millions of children, Edsel points out, he must know a better way. Henry writes the letter just to please his son, but Santa actually answers by taking Henry to visit his North Pole workshop. When he sees the elves working in a line, each completing just one specific task on every toy that’s made, Henry Ford envisions an automobile assembly line. The story not only illustrates that children can teach adults how to dream, but it also provides an author’s note with factual information about Henry Ford and the Model T.
Road Builders - Ever wonder how a road is built? Come along with Caldecott Medalist Simms Taback and find out! First you’ll meet the crew. Then you’ll see all the trucks up close—cement mixers, bulldozers, dump trucks, graders, pavers—and learn what each one does. And finally, you’ll watch a bustling new road come to life!
Brick by Brick - A striking debut celebrating the warm bond between a little boy and his dad as they work hard to achieve their dreams Papi is a bricklayer, and he works hard every day to help build the city, brick by brick. His son, Luis, works hard too—in school, book by book. Papi climbs scaffolds, makes mortar, and shovels sand. Luis climbs on the playground and molds clay into tiny bricks to make buildings, just like Papi. Together, they dream big about their future as they work to make those dreams come true. And then one Saturday, Papi surprises Luis with something special he’s built for their family, brick by brick.
Smashy Town - Fans of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site and I Stink! will love this rhythmic and lively picture book from the popular creators of Trashy Town. With a turn of his crane and a swing of his wrecking ball, Mr. Gilly knocks down the old buildings. He smashes through brick and wood. He crashes through stone and glass. Then, with a push from his bulldozer, Mr. Gilly cleans it all up to make room for something brand-new! Featuring lively text from Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha and dynamic art from acclaimed illustrator Dan Yaccarino, Smashy Town is a bouncy read-aloud that will delight young vehicle lovers.
Buildablock - In this companion to Alphablock, Countablock, Dinoblock, and Cityblock, readers are introduced to more than 24 construction machines. As in the previous books, Buildablock features die-cut shapes on every other spread and the charming art of British design team Peskimo. Alphablock was chosen one of Parents magazine’s 10 Best Children’s Books of 2013 and one of ALSC’s Notable Children’s Books of 2014.
Construction Cat - Cats in hard hats make work seem like play in this cheery, rhyming picture book about building something and having a loving family to share your accomplishments with. Construction cat wakes up at dawn, grabs her boots and tugs them on… It’s time to build! Tail high, Construction Cat kisses her family goodbye and goes to work with the other cats on a construction site. They lug lumber and pound nails, they saw, sand, and sweep the dust, all to build a truly paw-some park that they can’t wait to share with friends and family! Sydney Hanson’s lively and lovable cats combined with Barbara Odanaka’s rhythmic story create a universal story that is a joy to read again and again.
Want to see books about jobs and careers?
Tip Tip Dig Dig - A parade of colorful construction vehicles doing their work means plenty of joyful noise! From the crane that lifts, lifts, lifts to the bulldozer that push, push-pushes, to the steamroller that rolls, rolls, rolls, every machine here makes it own special sound. And the surprise ending, when the great big mess on page one becomes a wonderful playground, is sure to leave kids pleased!
Dog on a Digger - Dog likes to ride along while his human companion works the big excavator at the construction site. But today, when they stop at the snack bar for something to eat, Dog’s little puppy friend goes missing. Luckily, Dog has a brave and ingenious idea for coming to the rescue — with the help of the excavator, of course! Incorporating bright yellow accents, Kate Prendergast’s wonderfully detailed pencil drawings tell a satisfying story of a loyal, resourceful, and clever pup. Two perennial favorites — canines and heavy machinery — come together in a charming wordless book sure to please readers of all ages.
Dump Truck's Colors - Join Dump Truck on his colorfully busy day at the construction site! Little construction fans will love the colors that fill the world of the bestselling Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, from the BLUE sky in the morning to the WHITE moon at night!
Construction Alphabet - For fans of all things that go this noisy alphabet book explores construction equipment from A to Z. Find out about these construction machines and more, from a huge saw that cuts through roads to a massive vacuum that sucks up boulders. You’ll even learn a quick and easy recipe for concrete. Rock crushers, jackhammers, and wrecking balls will delight the youngest of readers learning their ABCs. Jerry Pallotta’s trademark humor punctuates the informative text. Vibrant oil paintings bring to life a busy construction site.
Digger, Dozer, Dumper - Each truck and big machine in these enticing rhyming poems is different — and little readers are invited to find a vehicle that’s like them. Sixteen boisterous, rhyming poems — each one highlighting the job and personality of a different vehicle, from a backhoe to an ambulance to a snowplow — invite young children to meet their favorite trucks face-to-face. Cheerful illustrations show each one in action, digging (or dozing, or dumping) away. Engaging visual details like an anxious turtle crossing the street just ahead of a steamroller are sure to keep preschoolers poring over the pages as they consider the question, “Trucks as far as eyes can see. . . . Which truck would you like to be?”
What Can You Do with a Toolbox? - 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!
Want to see books about first concepts?
Unbuilding - 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.
Up! Up! Up! Skyscraper - 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!
Want to see books about how things work and are made?
I Dig Bathtime - When the dust has settled and the day is done, Excavator is ready for bathtime. It’s so much fun! Trucks dig bathtime! Join Excavator and the other construction trucks as they scrub-a-dub-dub away the dust of the day with a well-earned bath. Adorable yet accurate illustrations will have kids peeking through the bubbles to identify Crane, Backhoe, Bulldozer, and more! You’ll dig bathtime too!
Dump Truck Duck - Dump Truck Duck honks and zooms and steers his dump truck all through the day, helping the other hardworking ducks build a new park. With adorable illustrations and playful rhyming text, Dump Truck Duck is certain to become a new read-aloud favorite!
Construction Zoo - It’s a quiet morning at the zoo, until some strange new creatures roll in—trucks and bulldozers and wrecking balls! They’re tumbling, digging, and roaring alongside the animals. Giraffe, rhino, the monkeys, and the tigers watch the new creatures and, soon, are playing with their new friends. It’s party time at the Construction Zoo! But…what happens when the construction is over? Will the party be over, too? The clever rhyming text and simple, bold art will appeal to both kids and their parents.