Transportation: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about transportation?

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

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, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about transportation, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Choo-Choo Colors to popular sellers like Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets to some of our favorite hidden gems like Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel.

We hope this list of kids books about transportation 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.

Top 10 Books About Transportation

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets book
#1
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Written by J. K. Rowling and illustrated by Mary Grandpre
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

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?

Little Blue Truck book
#2
Little Blue Truck
Written by Alice Schertle and illustrated by Jill McElmurry
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Beep! Beep! Beep! Meet Blue. A muddy country road is no match for this little pick up—that is, until he gets stuck while pushing a dump truck out of the muck. Luckily, Blue has made a pack of farm animal friends along his route. And they’re willing to do whatever it takes to get their pal back on the road. With a text full of truck sounds and animal noises to read aloud, here is a rollicking homage to the power of friendship and the rewards of helping others.

Amelia Earhart book
#3
Amelia Earhart
Written by Isabel Sanchez Vegara and illustrated by Mariadiamantes
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

Love this book! I love the illustrations, they are beautiful. This book does a great job of telling Amelia Earhart’s story and highlighting important things she accomplished. I love a book with a great female lead! :) I particularly loved that the ending didn’t go into the details of her going missing, but still accurately said didn’t return.

Meet Amelia, the fearless female flier! Now available as a board book in the Little People, Big Dreams series, this inspiring and informative little biography follows the life of Amelia Earhart, from her childhood as a tomboy to becoming the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean to her eventual disappearance. With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!

Sheep in a Jeep book
#4
Sheep in a Jeep
Written by Nancy Shaw and illustrated by Margot Apple
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

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.

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site book
#5
Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

There are some “classic” books that are classic for a reason, and for me this is one of them. It’s wildly popular because it’s truly that good. The clever, rhyming text clips along at a great pace and is simultaneously both instructive in its vocabulary and soothing as a going to bed book. The illustrations are phenomenon as well, and simultaneously detailed and beautifully stylized. Even if you don’t particularly love construction vehicles, I think you’d still truly enjoy this book.

The #1 New York Times bestseller As the sun sets behind the big construction site, all the hardworking trucks get ready to say goodnight. One by one, Crane Truck, Cement Mixer, Dump Truck, Bulldozer, and Excavator finish their work and lie down to rest—so they’ll be ready for another day of rough and tough construction play! With irresistible artwork by best-selling illustrator Tom Lichtenheld and sweet, rhyming text, this book will have truck lovers of all ages begging for more.

Steam Train, Dream Train book
#6
Steam Train, Dream Train
Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

An unabridged board book version of the bestselling hardcover, perfect for small hands! The dream train pulls into the station, and one by one the train cars are loaded: polar bears pack the reefer car with ice cream, elephants fill the tanker cars with paints, tortoises stock the auto rack with race cars, and kangaroos stuff the hopper car with balls (while zebras referee). Dreamy illustrations and gentle rhyming text make this a beloved bedtime favorite for budding train enthusiasts everywhere.

Ahoy, Li'l Buccaneers! book
#7
Ahoy, Li'l Buccaneers!
Written by Mark Iacolina
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Buccaneers sail. Buccaneers steer. Buccaneers grumble, snarl, and sneer.

Hardy har har! Calling all Li’l Buccaneers to set sail on a fun adventure, filled with dancing, singing, sparring, and treasure hunting. Young swashbucklers and their pirate pals are guaranteed a mighty good time with this delightfully rip-roaring, rhyming board book.

This Is the Firefighter book
#8
This Is the Firefighter
Written by Laura Godwin and illustrated by Julian Hector
board book
Recommend Ages: 5-6
Thoughts from Grammy

I love this book! The catchy, rhyming verse keeps readers moving through the action with a sense of purpose, no hesitating as the firefighters rush into burning buildings to bring people out. In boldly drawn illustrations in primary colors with black and white the firefighters are shown moving through all their responsibilities from preparation, to fire fighting, to heading back to the station. There is a little dalmatian to be spotted on nearly every page. I love the way this book teaches respect for people in dangerous first-responder jobs.

The fire alarm sounds. The firefighter jumps in the truck and races to a daring rescue! Get ready for an adventure as Laura Godwin and Julian Hector celebrate one of our bravest everyday heroes in this board-book edition for little hands. Praise for This is the Firefighter (hardcover edition) “With its swift action, catchy verse, and appropriate palette (red, white, blue, and flame), this should find good use among preschool vehicle enthusiasts and new readers as well as in the ‘community helpers’ unit.” -The Horn Book

Mayday book
#9
Mayday
Written by Karen Harrington
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In the tradition of Counting By 7s and The Thing About Jellyfish, a heartwarming coming-of-age story about grief, family, friendship, and the importance of finding your voice Wayne Kovok lives in a world of After. After his uncle in the army was killed overseas. After Wayne and his mother survived a plane crash while coming back from the funeral. After he lost his voice. Wayne has always used his love of facts to communicate (“Did you know more people die each year from shaking a vending machine than from shark attacks?”). Without his voice, how will he wow the prettiest girl in school? How will he stand up to his drill-sergeant grandfather? And how will he share his hopes with his deadbeat dad? It’s not until Wayne loses his voice completely that he realizes how much he doesn’t say. Filled with Karen Harrington’s signature heart and humor, Mayday tackles an unforgettable journey of family and friendship.

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel book
#10
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

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.

Table of Contents
Jump to books about Transportation and...

Books About Transportation and Cars

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets book
#1
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Written by J. K. Rowling and illustrated by Mary Grandpre
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

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?

Sheep in a Jeep book
#2
Sheep in a Jeep
Written by Nancy Shaw and illustrated by Margot Apple
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

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.

Rattletrap Car book
#3
Rattletrap Car
Written by Phyllis Root and illustrated by Jill Barton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Little Red Racing Car - 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

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Books About Transportation and Trucks

Little Blue Truck book
#1
Little Blue Truck
Written by Alice Schertle and illustrated by Jill McElmurry
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Beep! Beep! Beep! Meet Blue. A muddy country road is no match for this little pick up—that is, until he gets stuck while pushing a dump truck out of the muck. Luckily, Blue has made a pack of farm animal friends along his route. And they’re willing to do whatever it takes to get their pal back on the road. With a text full of truck sounds and animal noises to read aloud, here is a rollicking homage to the power of friendship and the rewards of helping others.

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site book
#2
Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

There are some “classic” books that are classic for a reason, and for me this is one of them. It’s wildly popular because it’s truly that good. The clever, rhyming text clips along at a great pace and is simultaneously both instructive in its vocabulary and soothing as a going to bed book. The illustrations are phenomenon as well, and simultaneously detailed and beautifully stylized. Even if you don’t particularly love construction vehicles, I think you’d still truly enjoy this book.

The #1 New York Times bestseller As the sun sets behind the big construction site, all the hardworking trucks get ready to say goodnight. One by one, Crane Truck, Cement Mixer, Dump Truck, Bulldozer, and Excavator finish their work and lie down to rest—so they’ll be ready for another day of rough and tough construction play! With irresistible artwork by best-selling illustrator Tom Lichtenheld and sweet, rhyming text, this book will have truck lovers of all ages begging for more.

Steam Train, Dream Train book
#3
Steam Train, Dream Train
Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

An unabridged board book version of the bestselling hardcover, perfect for small hands! The dream train pulls into the station, and one by one the train cars are loaded: polar bears pack the reefer car with ice cream, elephants fill the tanker cars with paints, tortoises stock the auto rack with race cars, and kangaroos stuff the hopper car with balls (while zebras referee). Dreamy illustrations and gentle rhyming text make this a beloved bedtime favorite for budding train enthusiasts everywhere.

Honorable Mentions
  1. This Is the Firefighter - Grammy - I love this book! The catchy, rhyming verse keeps readers moving through the action with a sense of purpose, no hesitating as the firefighters rush into burning buildings to bring people out. In boldly drawn illustrations in primary colors with black and white the firefighters are shown moving through all their responsibilities from preparation, to fire fighting, to heading back to the station. There is a little dalmatian to be spotted on nearly every page. I love the way this book teaches respect for people in dangerous first-responder jobs.

  2. Old MacDonald Had a Truck - The Book Snob Mom - Super cute and original take on the classic Old MacDonald, jam packed with awesome trucks and other construction vehicles! Super fun to sing or just read out loud and adorable illustrations. I particularly enjoyed when the E-I-E-I-O transitioned throughout the book to different sounds and actions associated with each new truck (E-I-E-I-mow!) and the big reveal at the end of what Old MacDonald and all his helpers created.

  3. The Construction Crew - B is for Bookworm - Such a fun construction-themed book, with so many neat vehicles! The fact that it’s a lift-the-flap book makes it so fun, because you get to guess what each vehicle does. I also think the illustrations in this book are very cute, and loved that there were vocabulary words for the parts on all of the machines.

  4. B Is for Bulldozer - B is for Bookworm - This is the perfect alphabet book for little construction lovers! What I really liked about this book is that it has more of a story rather than just showing different construction vehicles.

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Books About Transportation and Airplanes

Amelia Earhart book
#1
Amelia Earhart
Written by Isabel Sanchez Vegara and illustrated by Mariadiamantes
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

Love this book! I love the illustrations, they are beautiful. This book does a great job of telling Amelia Earhart’s story and highlighting important things she accomplished. I love a book with a great female lead! :) I particularly loved that the ending didn’t go into the details of her going missing, but still accurately said didn’t return.

Meet Amelia, the fearless female flier! Now available as a board book in the Little People, Big Dreams series, this inspiring and informative little biography follows the life of Amelia Earhart, from her childhood as a tomboy to becoming the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean to her eventual disappearance. With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!

Mayday book
#2
Mayday
Written by Karen Harrington
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In the tradition of Counting By 7s and The Thing About Jellyfish, a heartwarming coming-of-age story about grief, family, friendship, and the importance of finding your voice Wayne Kovok lives in a world of After. After his uncle in the army was killed overseas. After Wayne and his mother survived a plane crash while coming back from the funeral. After he lost his voice. Wayne has always used his love of facts to communicate (“Did you know more people die each year from shaking a vending machine than from shark attacks?”). Without his voice, how will he wow the prettiest girl in school? How will he stand up to his drill-sergeant grandfather? And how will he share his hopes with his deadbeat dad? It’s not until Wayne loses his voice completely that he realizes how much he doesn’t say. Filled with Karen Harrington’s signature heart and humor, Mayday tackles an unforgettable journey of family and friendship.

Violet the Pilot book
#3
Violet the Pilot
Written and illustrated by Steve Breen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato

A powerful story about a girl who likes to build things. Ever since she’s been little, she’s been tinkering with household electronics and gadgets; fixing them and learning how they work. Soon she begins building airplanes and learning to fly. Her unusual hobbies, though, make her quite unpopular with the kids at school.

Violet is a science-loving girl inventor with a flair for the air! Fans of Ada Twist, Scientist and Rosie Revere, Engineer will love this classic underdog story by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Steve Breen.

By the time she’s two years old, Violet Van Winkle can engineer nearly any appliance in the house. And by eight she’s building elaborate flying machines from scratch—mind-boggling contraptions such as the Tubbubbler, the Bicycopter, and the Wing-a-ma-jig. The kids at school tease her, but they have no idea what she’s capable of. Maybe she could earn their respect by winning the blue ribbon in the upcoming Air Show. Or maybe something even better will happen—something involving her best-ever invention, a Boy Scout troop in peril, and even the mayor himself!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Heal the Earth - B is for Bookworm - This interactive book takes you on an airplane adventure to heal the earth! By pressing buttons and tilting the book, you get to help make the changes. This book is all about being environmentally friendly to help our earth, and it has the most beautiful illustrations!

  2. I Am Amelia Earhart - Presents the life of the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, who mysteriously disappeared in 1937 while attempting to fly around the world.

  3. Airplane Flight! - In the cockpit Captain Bright Makes sure everything works right. Wing flaps open. Wing flaps close. Lights shine bright on tail and nose. Susanna Leonard Hill’s rhythmic text and Ana Martin Larranaga’s simple but enticing art will take young readers on an exciting airplane ride! Kids can lift the10 flaps throughout the book to make their flying and reading experience more fun! Fasten your seatbelt and fly above the sky with this interactive book that’s shaped like an airplane. This format is perfect for young children who are going on a plane for the first to one-hundredth time!

  4. Amazing Airplanes - Buckle up to learn all about flying! Amazing Airplanes follows the animal crew, as they become pilots, baggage handlers, and air stewards. Each page is filled with details that machine-mad kids love, such as the cockpit, landing gear, and much more. This book now in chunky board book format is perfect for budding pilots or happy vacationers! From airplanes to fire engines, the internationally bestselling Amazing Machines series is the perfect way for children to learn about all sorts of vehicles! Each book introduces a new vehicle and the jobs it can do. Bright, engaging artwork and simple, rhyming text combine to make these fantastic books for young children. Kids will love getting to know the friendly, animal characters who feature throughout the series and reading about their fast-paced adventures!

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Books About Transportation and Boats

Ahoy, Li'l Buccaneers! book
#1
Ahoy, Li'l Buccaneers!
Written by Mark Iacolina
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Buccaneers sail. Buccaneers steer. Buccaneers grumble, snarl, and sneer.

Hardy har har! Calling all Li’l Buccaneers to set sail on a fun adventure, filled with dancing, singing, sparring, and treasure hunting. Young swashbucklers and their pirate pals are guaranteed a mighty good time with this delightfully rip-roaring, rhyming board book.

The Star Thief book
#2
The Star Thief
Written by Lindsey Becker
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The constellations come to life in this imaginative fantasy adventure debut. Honorine’s life as a maid at the Vidalia mansion is rather dull, dusting treasures from faraway places and daydreaming in front of maps of the world. But everything changes when she catches two brutish sailors ransacking Lord Vidalia’s study, and then follows a mysterious girl with wings out into the night…. Suddenly, Honorine is whisked into the middle of a battle between the crew of a spectacular steamship and a band of mythical constellations. The stars in the sky have come to life to defend themselves against those who want to harness their powers. Much to her surprise, Honorine is the crux of it all, the center of an epic clash between magic and science, the old ways and the new. But can this spirited young girl bring both sides of a larger-than-life fight together before they unleash an evil power even older than the stars?

Sheep on a Ship book
#3
Sheep on a Ship
Written by Nancy E Shaw and illustrated by Margot Apple
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

I love this series! The rhymes are clever and I appreciate the addition of some less common vocabulary (“Sheep collide!”), and of course the illustrations are dynamic and humorous! It’s such a quick, fun read-aloud, with tons of details to appreciate

Captain Small goes sailing, fishes from his boat, goes for an unexpected swim, and braves a storm on the way home.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Circus Ship - After courageously swimming to shore when the ship that they are traveling on sinks and the wretched captain does nothing to rescue them, circus animals find a way to become a valued part of a coastal community.

  2. Charlie's Boat - Mr. Staccato - I love these books by Kit Chase. The illustrations are beautiful and the stories are straightforward and simple. A cute story about friends being inclusive and helping each other out.

  3. Toy Boat - The Book Snob Mom - This book is gorgeously illustrated and is simultaneously a fun “boat book”—showcasing lots of different kinds of boats with some of their attributes—while also conveying a much deeper and more moving message about independence, letting go, and a deep friendship. This really resonated with me in terms of a parent-child relationship, and how that bond can be strengthened if you let go a little but remain a safe place to always return to.

  4. Little Pig Saves the Ship - The Book Snob Mom - It’s hard to be the littlest, but when Little Pig’s siblings all go off to sailing camp and he feels like he’s missing out, his oldest brother and his grandpa do a great job of making sure Little Pig gets to be a little involved too. I appreciated the sweet and strong family relationships, the quality time they spend together and the realization Little Pig has that even though he’s little, he still has something to contribute. The illustrations are sweet as well!

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Books About Transportation and Vehicles

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel book
#1
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

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.

Everything Goes: In the Air book
#2
Everything Goes: In the Air
Written and illustrated by Brian Biggs
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Follows Henry and his father through an airport as they see and talk about different forms of air transportation, including airplanes, helicopters, and hot air balloons.

The Boxcar Children book
#3
The Boxcar Children
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

The Aldens begin their adventure by making a home in a boxcar. Their goal is to stay together, and in the process they find a grandfather.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - Two children persuade their inventor father to purchase and restore an old car which turns out to have magical powers.

  2. Everything Goes: On Land - Cars and trucks and bikes and trains! Rvs and construction vehicles too! Everything goes Ride along with Henry and his dad as they visit the big city and check out all the amazing vehicles around them. Full of mini-story lines, endless seek-and-find activities, and hundreds of funny details, Everything Goes: On Land is an interactive book that provides hours of fun!

  3. Everything Goes: By Sea - Everything Goes: By Sea, the third picture book in the Everything Goes series of picture books, board books, and I Can Reads, is a wonderful celebration of sailboats, submarines, and many other interesting sea vehicles. Featuring fun mini–story lines, seek-and-find activities, tons of hilarious details, and cool cutaways, Everything Goes: By Sea is an interactive book that provides hours of fun!

  4. The Three Little Rigs - “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.

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Books About Transportation and Trains

The Little Train book
#1
The Little Train
Written and illustrated by Lois Lenski
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-2

In a new board book edition of the delightful story, Engineer Small at the throttle takes the little train on its run from Tiny Town to the big city.

Thomas the Tank Engine Story Collection book
#2
Thomas the Tank Engine Story Collection
Written by Rev. W. Awdry and illustrated by John T. Kenney and C. Reginald Dalby
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A collection of fourteen previously published stories featuring Thomas, Sir Topham Hat, and their railway friends.

The Secret Subway book
#3
The Secret Subway
Written by Shana Corey and illustrated by Red Nose Studio
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Goodfather

The Secret Subway is both very engaging and enjoyable. It entertains readers while also educating them about this fascinating piece of New York City subway history. The illustrations are unique and wonderfully match this tale of an inventor’s ambitious undertaking.

“New York City in the 1860s was a mess- crowded, disgusting, filled with garbage. You see, way back in 1860, there were no subways, just cobblestone streets. That is, until Alfred Ely Beach had the idea for a fan-powered train that would travel underground. On February 26, 1870, after fifty-eight days of drilling and painting and plastering, Beach unveiled his masterpiece-and throngs of visitors took turns swooshing down the track. The Secret Subwaywill wow readers, just as Beach’s underground train wowed riders over a century ago.”

Honorable Mentions
  1. Down by the Station - Did you ever wonder who rides the zoo train early in the morning? Climb aboard and join the mischievous, sleepy, and playful baby animals on their way to the children’s zoo. The engineer has to get them there before the first busload of children arrives . . . but these baby animals just want to have fun! This delightful adventure full of mishaps, daring rescues, and a runaway red balloon has a cumulative text and playful animal noises that will have readers singing along-if they’re not racing to the zoo to ride the train themselves.

  2. The Caboose Who Got Loose - Grammy - Bill Peet wrote 34 children’s books in his career and they are all still in print! The Caboose Who Got Loose is one of our favorites. Written in effortless verse, the story chugs right along, paired beautifully with Peet’s signature illustrations. He has a gift for breathing life into animals and familiar objects, in this case, a caboose; the houses and other structures and vehicles also take on human qualities and emotions. The book is a delight to read again and again.

  3. Alphabet Trains - All aboard for a train ride through the alphabet! Whether chug-chug-chugging up a mountainside in an Incline train or zipping at super speed in a Bullet train, trains will get you where you need to be—A to Z! There is a train—some familiar and some unusual—for every letter of the alphabet. Trains are used all over the world for carrying people and cargo from place to place. With a bouncy rhyming text, and clever illustrations full of visual cues, young readers will love learning all about trains.

  4. Stanley's Train - It’s another busy day for Stanley and friends! All aboard on Stanley’s train and tickets ready, please. Stanley’s passengers have a beach ball, a toy boat, and an inner tube. Where could Stanley’s train be headed? Off we go on another adventure! Choo, choo! With bright illustrations, adorable characters, and a padded-cover format, William Bee’s Stanley series is perfect for readers transitioning from board books to picture books.

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How about children's books about trains?

Books About Transportation and Animals

Planes, Trains, and Animobiles book
#1
Planes, Trains, and Animobiles
Written and illustrated by Lizzy Doyle
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

Soar in a BEARplane, take a ride in a taxiCRAB, and enjoy more animal and vehicle puns in Planes, Trains, and Animobiles!

Ready, Set, Build! book
#2
Ready, Set, Build!
Written by Meg Fleming and illustrated by Jarvis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Grab your hard hat and get ready for a day of construction fun with a busy builder and his friend!

Grab your hard hat, tie your boots.

Pack your lunch. Ready? Scoot!

Sketch a dream. Post a chart.

Hatch the plan before you start.

Get ready for a day full of construction fun! Children can follow a busy dog builder as he sketches and plans his dream, clears rubble to make space, and gets to work digging, lifting, and sawing. He builds a house for himself and his bird friend, and satisfied after a hard day’s work, they takes in all they’ve done and look forward to the next day of building!

Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever book
#3
Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever
Written and illustrated by Richard Scarry
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Welcome to Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever! Featuring everything from an airport to a grocery store, this fun-filled book has hundreds of objects clearly labeled so that little readers can expand their vocabularies. In print for fifty years, this classic book has sold over 5 million copies around the world and brought billions of new words to little ones across the globe. Learning has never been more fun!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Cycle City - When little Etta the Elephant goes to her Aunt Ellen’s house, she takes a journey through bicycle-filled Cycle City, a town filled with bikes of all kinds! At the end of the day, a special surprise awaits Etta—the most amazing bicycle parade imaginable. Detail-rich illustrations in this fun seek-and-find book paint the colors of this unusual town where everyone rides some kind of bike—whether a penny-farthing, a two-wheeled unicycle, or a conference bike, everyone is on wheels! Packed with prompts and lots to see on every page, this is a sweet story for the sharpest of eyes.

  2. Snail Mail - A long, long time ago, before email and texting, the mail was delivered in a much slower way-it was called Snail Mail (because some thought it was delivered by a snail). Although it took much longer, everyone agreed that letters were a little more special when they were delivered by Snail Mail. They might be handwritten. They might include a drawing. They might even contain a surprise inside! One such letter was sent by a Girl to the Boy she loved, and it was up to four special snails to deliver her card across the country. The snails trek across the country-through desert heat and dangerous blizzards, across mountains and plains, through cities and forests-and along the way, they find that taking time to slow down and look around makes the journey all the more beautiful. Snail Mail’s playful and educational story encourages kids to have slow living, and to approach life with determination and wonder. Julia Patton’s rich illustrations showcase America’s diverse terrain and national monuments from coast to coast. Kids and parents alike will delight in this celebration of America’s beauty and the power of a simple handwritten letter.

  3. Ready, Set, Sail! - Join these sailors as they explore the sea during a fun day of sailing in this follow-up to Ready, Set, Build! Shout your orders loud and fast. “Hoist the mainsail up the mast!” Grab your life vest, hold on to your compass, and get ready for a day full of sailing fun with a playful tiger and turtle! Follow these salty sailors as they raise their anchor, cast off, and explore the sea in their little sloop. And after a long day of sailing, they gather and tell tales of all the things they’ve seen!

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Epilogue

32 books that are just too good to leave off of our transportation list.

  1. Where Do Speedboats Sleep at Night? - Illustrations and rhyming text reveal what sailboats, cruise ships, canoes, and other vessels do to get ready for bed after a hard day’s work.

  2. Truck, Truck, Goose! - Truck . . .Truck . . . Truck . . . Goose will never get to have his picnic if he can’t cross the street! Bright colors and hilarious antics makes Truck, Truck Goose perfect for toddlers at bedtime, story time, or anytime. With a clever play on the beloved game of Duck, Duck, Goose, it tells the sweet, sometimes chaotic story of a goose who just wants to cross the road in front of his cottage. And everything is going fine . . . until he drops his piano! With bold and bright illustrations from Zoe Waring and minimal text from Tammi Sauer, Truck, Truck, Goose is great fun.

  3. Picture Fit Board Books: A Traffic Jam of Trucks - The Book Snob Mom - 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.

  4. Alphabet Trucks - The Goodfather - Alphabet Trucks is one of the more unique alphabet books I’ve read, and I think it’s great. Who would have guessed you could find specialized trucks that start with each letter of the alphabet? Many alphabet books can be a bit random, so Alphabet Trucks offers creative text and pictures in a very narrow space: trucks!

  1. To the Rescue! - From propellers that whir to lights that flash, rescue vehicles attract everyone’s attention! To the Rescue! offers up a fun, foundational introduction to six helpful vehicles that are sure to fascinate every preschool learner. Simple, rhythmical text introduces each automobile or aircraft by its definitive action. Whimsical illustrations, meanwhile, pair emergency situations with friendly characters. Set within a durable board book format, this is a title all young readers will race to save from the bookshelf!

  2. The Red Boat - Readerly Mom - This would be a great book to read with a child who is moving to a new house or starting a new school. Its simple story and cute illustrations would help facilitate a discussion about how it’s okay to be nervous in a new situation, and it’s okay to rely on friends and things that are familiar, but it’s also wonderful to get to know new friends. I also love the idea that having an active imagination can be a great tool for dealing with things that make us nervous!

  3. What's That Noise? Choo! Choo! - What’s that noise? Lift the flap to find out! Perfect for guessing, prediction and memory skills - and simply joining in!

  4. 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!

  1. Car, Car, Truck, Jeep - 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!

  2. Push-Pull-Turn! Up in the Air! - Up, up, and away! Get ready for takeoff! Up in the Air takes kids up in the air as they are introduced to a variety of flying vehicles. Each page features a different interactive element such as spinners, flaps, and tabs. While reading the rhyming story, kids can use the interactive elements to bring the story to life. Whether it’s a jet, helicopter, or hot-air balloon, Up in the Air is the perfect introduction to flying vehicles for youngsters.

  3. Harry and the Jaggedy Daggers - Harry and the Jaggedy Daggers The first charming instalment of the Bottlenose Bay series from award-winning author/illustrator Jan Fearnley. Harry the harbour mouse is heartbroken when his boat is dashed and smashed on the dangerous, mean old rocks - the terrible Jaggedy Daggers! But just as the sea brings mischief, it brings surprises too . . . A story about being brave. Even if you are very small and have only a teacup and a rusty teaspoon. Jan Fearnley is the best-selling author of Mr Wolf’s Pancakes and Arthur and the Meanies. Her beautifully crafted picture books are terrific for sharing and make for popular bedtime stories.

  4. Planes Go - The helicopter goes, “PITTATATATA PITTATATATA PITTATATATA.” The jumbo jet goes, “Wheeeeeeeee VRRRRRRRRRRUUUHHHHHHHHHMMM.” The propeller plane goes, “HUK HUK HUK WHIRRRRRRR WHIRRRRRR.” Prepare for liftoff with 8 exciting aircraft and the noises they make in this irresistible board book! The long, oversized format lends itself to the shape of the vehicles and stands out on the shelf, and the boisterous text begs to be read aloud.

  1. Old MacDonald Had a Boat - Old Mac and Mrs. Mac are at it again! This time, these DIY-happy farmers wield a host of noisy tools—from hammers to sanders, and even a blowtorch—to soup up their rusty old fishing boat. With a BANG BANG here and a BUZZ BUZZ there, this silly, summery sequel to the wildly popular Old MacDonald Had a Truck is sure to make a splash—and have the whole family singing along.

  2. Three Bears in a Boat - From the co-creator of the New York Times bestselling Ladybug Girl series comes a high seas adventure inspired by the classic picture books Little Bear and Where the Wild Things Are. Three bear siblings break their mother’s favorite blue seashell, and rather than tell her, they decide to set out in their sailboat to find her a new one. On their quest they encounter salty sailors, strange new islands, huge whales, and vast seas but no blue seashells. When a treacherous storm suddenly blows in, the three bears find themselves tossed about in their little boat, far from Mama. What will become of their search, and what will it take to bring them safely home? This read aloud shares its best qualities with classic picture books: breath-taking illustrations, epic adventure, and a subtle message about taking responsibility for your actions.

  3. How to Track a Truck - Want a pet truck? Rumble up to this handy guidebook offering everything you need to know. Bone up on habitat: monster trucks like abandoned parking lots; moving trucks live in busy neighborhoods; ice-cream trucks and snowplows migrate in the winter. Pick the right breed for your home (a car transporter in a small apartment would not be a wise choice). Learn to identify your truck by its tire tracks, and soon, with the lure of some orange cones, you’ll have a loyal vehicle following you home, a happy hum under its hood. With an eighteen-wheeler-size nod to pet-care guides, Jason Carter Eaton and John Rocco put young readers in the driver’s seat for a road trip to truck-dreamer bliss.

  4. Hatchet - Headed for Canada to visit his father for the first time since his parents’ divorce, thirteen-year-old Brian is the sole survivor of a plane crash, with only the clothes he has on and a hatchet to help him live in the wilderness. A Newbery Honor Book. Reprint.

  1. The Berenstain Bears and the Big Road Race - B is for Bookworm - 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.

  2. Look Through: Things that Go - 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.

  3. Love Is a Truck - Graphically appealing two-color illustrations pair perfectly with a spare, rhythmic ode to beloved trucks of all kinds - from fire trucks to dump trucks to ice cream trucks, the sweetest trucks of all - and to the kid who loves and collects them, Love Is a Truck follows Love Is a Tutu (our ballet-inspired ode to tutus and toe shoes) in our Love Is series. A smaller square format with thick, sturdy pages, make these little picture books perfect for young readers, ages 2-6, and for reading aloud again and again.

  4. The Antlered Ship - An inquisitive fox named Marco and a bored flock of pigeons join the crew of deer Captain Sylvia, setting sail in her antlered ship in search of a wonderful island and finding friendship on the way.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. The Fabulous Flying Machines of Alberto Santos-Dumont - Profiles Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, who made great strides in the invention of flight.

  1. Little Boat - When you’re small and on the go, there’s a lot to watch out for: big boats, waves, rain clouds, and more! But Little Boat can handle whatever comes his way, braving the elements and the unexpected with his initiative, confidence, and positive attitude. This colorful follow-up to Little Truck by beloved author-illustrator Taro Gomi will entertain toddlers sailing toward big adventures!

  2. Boats on the Bay - Readerly Mom - I was all hearts-for-eyes emoji over this book as soon as I picked it up in the bookstore, and I haven’t stopped loving it. My three-year-old feels the same way. It’s fun to look at and quick to read, making it easy to read over and over again. There’s a lot to discuss in it too—we like to identify specific places, talk about what the various people are doing, and notice opposites. Yes, we definitely love it a little extra because we live in the San Francisco Bay Area and the illustrations prominently feature the bridges, islands, buildings, and horizons we know and love, but children and adults from anywhere will enjoy the beautiful illustrations and descriptions of many different types of boats.

  3. Maisy's Plane - Maisy flies her plane to a special party and passes hot air balloons and clouds along the way.

  4. Night Light - Count the nighttime lights on a train, a helicopter, a fire truck, and seven more vehicles in this bold picture book with die-cut surprises. 1 light, shining bright? A train! 7 lights, flashing red and white? A fire truck! And so on all the way to ten lights. Part guessing game, part counting book, NIGHT LIGHT is a boldly imagined book for the preschool child who loves cars, trucks, and anything that goes. With die-cuts on every other page, this rhyming story features vehicles and counting, combining a high interest preschool subject with important preschool concepts.

  1. Classic Goosebumps #30: The Haunted Car - “Originally published as Goosebumps Series 2000 #21: The haunted car”—Title page verso.

  2. The Great Airport Mystery - Valuable electronic parts containing platinum are being stolen from shipments made by Stanwide Mining Equipment’s cargo planes, and Frank and Joe are called upon to assist their world-renowned detective father solve the baffling case. While posing as Stanwide employees, the boys look into the truth behind the chief pilot’s death at sea. The puzzling trail of clues leads the young sleuths to an uninhabited Caribbean island, but the final, and most startling, discovery is made in the boys’ home town of Bayport.

  3. Construction - Digging, pushing, mixing and tipping! Lift the flap to see each vehicle busy at work.

  4. Airport - From the excitement of arrival to the wonder of taking off — a picture book that captures in joyous and powerful images all the magic of an airport.

Did you enjoy our transportation book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!