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Vehicles: Books For Kids

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

The great poet Emily Dickinson once wrote that there is “no frigate like a book to take us lands away.” While your budding reader might not yet know that a frigate is a type of ship, she or he might already be fascinated with the vehicles of transportation that surround us in this busy world of movement. Whether your baby’s first noise was imitating the “vroom vroom” of a motorboat or your 9 to 10-year-old (4th or 5th grader) is showing an interest in cars, we have books to fuel those interests, from beginner board books to picture books to chapter books.

This extensive list of the top children’s books about vehicles covers the whole gamut of transportation, be it planes, trains, submarines, cars, trucks, bikes, and more. These books are sure to transport your kids, whatever their desired mode of travel. Browse the full list or use the table of contents to jump to a specific subtopic of vehicle that your reader loves!

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Top 10 Books About Vehicles

#1
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Little Blue Truck
Written by Alice Schertle & 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.

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#2
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McToad Mows Tiny Island
Written by Tom Angleberger & illustrated by John Hendrix
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato
I wrote this book off when I first read it, but my son immediately took to it. He asked to read it over and over again. I found that with each iteration I actually enjoyed the book more and more (which is untrue of many books). The story follows a cheerful McToad who goes to great lengths to mow Tiny Island each Thursday. To reach the island he must transport his lawnmower by airplane, boat, helicopter, and train which seems like a great deal of effort, but not for McToad who seems to enjoy every minute of the journey.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

McToad likes Thursdays. Why? Because on every other day of the week, McToad mows Big Island, but on Thursdays, McToad mows Tiny Island. To do so, he puts his mower on the back of a truck, which drives to a train, which goes to a helicopter, which flies to a boat, which uses a crane to put the lawn mower onto Tiny Island. There McToad mows and drinks some lemonade, and before you know it, it’s time to turn around and go back home. But first, the mower has to get lifted by a crane, to get put back on a boat, which is lifted by a helicopter, and . . . well . . . you get the idea.

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#3
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Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker & illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
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.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

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#4
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Steam Train, Dream Train
Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker & illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
Gorgeous illustrations, wonderful cadence and lots of excellent train vocabulary to boot. This one is a joy to read again and again, and is simultaneously upbeat and soothing.
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.

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#5
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Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Written & 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.

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#6
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Old MacDonald Had a Truck
Written by Steve Goetz & illustrated by Eda Kaban
Thoughts from 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.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Old MacDonald had a farm E-I-E-I-O. And on that farm he had a…TRUCK?! With a DIG DIG here and a SCOOP SCOOP there, this classic folk song just got revved up! Beloved machines—the excavator, dump truck, bulldozer, and more—will have the vehicle-obsessed of all ages reading and singing along.

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#7
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Planes, Trains, and Animobiles
Written & illustrated by Lizzy Doyle
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This is a really fun book for children to learn about automobiles and animals. The rhyming scheme is fun and the word count in this board book is decent. My favorite part is the "Micecream" truck! This book's illustrations are really colorful and cute, with a slight cartoony feel.
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!

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#8
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What's That Noise? Choo! Choo!
Written & illustrated by Cocoretto
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

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

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#9
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TouchThinkLearn: Vehicles
Written & illustrated by Xavier Deneux
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
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!
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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.

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#10
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Cars Galore
Written by Peter Stein & illustrated by Bob Staake
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

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Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Vehicles and...

Books About Vehicles and Bedtime And Dreams

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Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker & illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
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.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

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Steam Train, Dream Train
Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker & illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
Gorgeous illustrations, wonderful cadence and lots of excellent train vocabulary to boot. This one is a joy to read again and again, and is simultaneously upbeat and soothing.
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.

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Mighty, Mighty Construction Site
Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker & illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato
Not as cute as the original Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, but still an enjoyable read if you've got a little one that likes construction vehicles. This sequel introduces 5 additional construction workers and focuses on teamwork between the original and new trucks. It ends with the trucks bedding down for the night and a fun throwback to the original book.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

At last—here from the team behind the beloved international bestseller comes a companion to Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site. All of our favorite trucks are back on the construction site—this time with a focus on team-building, friendship, and working together to make a big task seem small! Down in the big construction site, the crew faces their biggest job yet, and will need the help of new construction friends to get it done. Working as a team, there’s nothing they can’t do! The millions of fans of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site are in for a mighty good time!

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  1. Pedro's Monster - Despite his father’s reassurances, Pedro is frightened by the monsters in his dreams–until he finds a way to use his love of monster trucks to defeat his dream monsters.

  2. Construction Site on Christmas Night - VROOM and ZOOM into the holidays with this new Christmas classic from the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site and Mighty, Mighty, Construction Site! The trucks are gearing up for Christmas by building a special gift! But, there’s a surprise waiting for each of them, too! Presents await for Excavator, Bulldozer, Crane, Dump Truck, and Cement Mixer as each finishes their part of this big, important job and rolls off to a sweet and sleepy goodnight. Playful rhyming text from the bestselling author of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site and vibrant illustrations from the acclaimed artist AG Ford make this a perfect gift for construction fans everywhere.

  3. 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.

  4. Trains Don't Sleep - Puffing, chuffing, never yawning Climbing hills as day is dawning. Trains don’t sleep, they CLANG and HOOT Cross bridges and canyons, plow through snow, charge down mountains, and meander across fields filled with sheep. And when it is time to rest and dreams are just ahead, never fear–trains don’t sleep so that you can. With the feel of a classic and vivid artwork that captures the power and majesty of trains, this is a fast-paced rhyming ode to the locomotive.

Books About Vehicles and Farm Animals

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Little Blue Truck
Written by Alice Schertle & 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.

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Sheep in a Jeep
Written by Nancy Shaw & 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.

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Tractor Mac Farm Days
Written & illustrated by Billy Steers
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Tractor Mac wakes up eager to start the day. Plow, plant, scoop, mow–there’s always a new chore for him and his animal and vehicle friends to do at the farm. When the day is done, he washes up and goes to bed, excited to see what the next day will bring.

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  1. Otis Gives Thanks - Being thankful is a year-round blessing for Otis the tractor! Giving thanks makes Otis happy. He gives thanks for the land and country he loves. Otis is thankful for time to play games like hide-and-seek and ring-around-the-rosy. He cherishes his farm friends who make life on the ranch as happy as can be. And most of all, everyone’s favorite tractor is thankful for the greatest thing in life: love. Told with a sense of warmth, heart, and above all else, gratefulness, this is an uplifting tale that speaks to the soul of Otis’ character and reminds readers that taking the time to appreciate our lives is a virtue in itself. From the creator of the Otis series, and the illustrator of The Little Engine That Could and Of Thee I Sing by President Barack Obama.

  2. Tractor Mac Builds a Barn - Tractor Mac and friends celebrate autumn festivals in this paperback edition which includes two pages of stickers!

  3. Tractor Mac Arrives at the Farm - Sibley the horse lives on Stony Meadow Farm and is a hard worker the whole year round. Then Tractor Mac arrives at the farm, and suddenly, everything that Sibley used to do, Tractor Mac does, too. Sibley wonders if there is any room left for him—but when Farmer Bill and Tractor Mac get stuck in a soggy field, Sibley is the one who comes to their rescue, and Sibley and Tractor Mac learn that there’s plenty for both of them to do at the farm.

  4. Tractor Mac Farmers' Market - Tractor Mac and his friends find out that fresh, locally grown food is good food; the Tractor Mac series is perfect for fans of Bob the Builder and Thomas the Tank Engine. Now in paperback with two colorful sticker sheets!

Books About Vehicles and Boats, Ships And Underwater Vehicles

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Boats on the Bay
Written by Jeanne Walker Harvey & illustrated by Grady McFerrin
Thoughts from 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.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Illustrations and easy to read text portray a variety of vessels, from houseboats to dredgers, through the course of a busy day on the bay.

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Everything Goes: By Sea
Written & illustrated by Brian Biggs
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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!

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Alphabet Boats
Written by Samantha R Vamos & illustrated by Ryan O Rourke
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Discover twenty-six types of vessels, from the more common — canoe and motorboat — to the unusual — umiak and Q-boat. Just like in Alphabet Trucks and Alphabet Trains, colorful art includes the letters of the alphabet hidden (and not-so-hidden) in supporting roles in the illustrations.

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  1. Here Come the Helpers - Look for the Helpers is a shaped board book that highlights the emergency vehicles that help make our world a better place. It’s a big, beautiful world, filled with awesome adventures. But sometimes emergencies happen. When they do, look for the helpers! Helpers are all around you. Fire trucks, ambulances, police cars, and more crowd the pages of this shaped board book that teaches children to look for helpers wherever they go. With a search-and-find twist, each scene highlights different types of emergency vehicles in action. Look for the Helpers is an adventurous book that introduces little ones to the caring helpers who make the world safer.

  2. Pop-Up Things That Go! - The illustrator of the oversize hit Animals offers a pair of eye-catching miniature pop-up books sure to make waves and transport imaginations. Modes of transportation are exciting and ever popular – and here they get an attractive makeover in a kid-friendly pop-up with pages of things that go, from ice-cream trucks to helicopters, fire engines to tricycles. Bright colors and clean graphics set this attractive little book zooming ahead of the pack.

  3. Boats Go - All aboard! Sail away with 8 noisy boats, as they toot, chug, clang, and splash their way across the water! The sturdy pages feature a fireboat, tugboat, cruise ship, paddleboat, speedboat, sailboat, submarine, and gondola, and encourage young readers to chime in with all the noises each makes—ssshhhh cling-clang FLAP FLAP FLAP goes the sailboat! Here’s a joyful addition to this much-praised series.

  4. Mighty Tug - From early in the morning until time to say, “Good night,” Mighty Tug works in the busy harbor, guiding cargo ships, pulling barges, and helping with rescues.

Books About Vehicles and Jobs And Careers

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McToad Mows Tiny Island
Written by Tom Angleberger & illustrated by John Hendrix
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato
I wrote this book off when I first read it, but my son immediately took to it. He asked to read it over and over again. I found that with each iteration I actually enjoyed the book more and more (which is untrue of many books). The story follows a cheerful McToad who goes to great lengths to mow Tiny Island each Thursday. To reach the island he must transport his lawnmower by airplane, boat, helicopter, and train which seems like a great deal of effort, but not for McToad who seems to enjoy every minute of the journey.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

McToad likes Thursdays. Why? Because on every other day of the week, McToad mows Big Island, but on Thursdays, McToad mows Tiny Island. To do so, he puts his mower on the back of a truck, which drives to a train, which goes to a helicopter, which flies to a boat, which uses a crane to put the lawn mower onto Tiny Island. There McToad mows and drinks some lemonade, and before you know it, it’s time to turn around and go back home. But first, the mower has to get lifted by a crane, to get put back on a boat, which is lifted by a helicopter, and . . . well . . . you get the idea.

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Farm (Wheels at Work)
Written by Child's Play & illustrated by Cocoretto
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This is a great book for littles who love tractors, vehicles, and farms! I especially love the lift-the-flap feature.
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Collecting, lifting, transporting, and delivering! Lift the flap to see each vehicle busy at work. Perfect for guessing, prediction and memory skills - and simply joining in!

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Bizzy Bear: Fire Rescue!
Written by Nosy Crow & illustrated by Benji Davies
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

With chunky sliders to push and pull, this robust little board book is perfect for active toddlers. Rich in visual detail and with touches of humor, it is sure to become a classic in the family library. Bizzy Bear is lending a hand at the fire station when he receives an emergency call summoning the team’s help. Join the fire fighters as they race to the rescue in this action-packed story for the very young!

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  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. My Car Board Book - With prose as clean as Sam's the narrator's shiny engine, Byron Barton, the celebrated creator of numerous picture books for very young children, including Trucks, My Bus, and Building a House, explores transportation, the parts of a car, signs and signals, night and day, community, and occupations.

  4. 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!

Books About Vehicles and Airplanes

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Amelia Earhart
Written by Isabel Sanchez Vegara & illustrated by Mariadiamantes
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.
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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!

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I Am Amelia Earhart
Written by Brad Meltzer & illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

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Indestructibles: Things That Go!
Written by Amy Pixton & illustrated by Stephan Lomp
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Now babies can learn all about the things that go in a book that’s indestructible. With call-out identifications on each spread, Things That Go! is a vibrant introduction to those irresistible vehicles that fly, drive, sail, dig, lift, dump, and more. With almost two million copies in print, Indestructibles are the books built for the way babies read. They are 100 percent baby-proof, chew-proof, rip-proof, and drool-proof. Printed on a unique nontoxic, paperlike material that holds up to anything babies can throw at it–gumming, spilling, dragging across the floor–Indestructibles are the little books that could. They’re indestructible. And if they get dirty, just throw them in the wash.

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  1. 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.

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

  3. 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.

  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.

Books About Vehicles and Sounds Or Noises

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What's That Noise? Choo! Choo!
Written & illustrated by Cocoretto
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

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

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Roadwork
Written by Sally Sutton & illustrated by Brian Lovelock
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Big machines and their drivers work together to build a road.

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Cars Go
Written & illustrated by Steve Light
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

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.

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  1. Diggers Go - The excavator goes, “chumma chumma hufft hufft FALUMP.” The steamroller goes, “CHUG chug CHUG chug moooooosh.” The wrecking ball goes, “BOOOOOM!” Come on down to the construction site and make some noise with eight exciting construction vehicles as they rumble, crunch, chug, and boom their way through this lively book! The oversized format lends itself to the shape of the vehicles and the boisterous text begs to be read aloud.

  2. 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?”

  3. Trucks to the Rescue! - In this bright and action-packed board book, favorite trucks are here to save the day! Whether it’s a flat tire or a fire, trucks come to the rescue in this board book. Kids will love repeating the refrain “to the rescue!” with each different truck–fire truck, dump truck, tow truck, and more. William Low’s characteristically beautiful art brings these big machines to life.

  4. Cars - Cars go rushing up and down, through the country, through the town. Racing! Rushing! Honking! Squealing! Stopping! Starting! Turning! Wheeling! All kinds of cars, from sedans to SUVs to station wagons, take people here, there, and everywhere. Following the success of Trucks: Whizz! Zoom! Rumble! and Trains: Steaming! Pulling! Huffing! Patricia Hubbell introduces the third installment to her popular series featuring “things that go!” Sean Addy and Megan Halsey portray a variety of cars using vibrant clip art, etchings, and original drawings, making this a perfect gift for children who love things that go!

Books About Vehicles and Imagination And Play

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Cars Galore
Written by Peter Stein & illustrated by Bob Staake
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

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Fantastic Toys
Written & illustrated by Monika Beisner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

This delightfully imaginative book catalogs eleven fantastical inventions of magical toys, with detailed descriptions and vivid illustrations that will make kids want to create their own fantastic toys Fantastic Toys is a dream catalog of eleven marvelous inventions, magical toys that would make the world far more interesting, if only they existed. Here are inventions based on fantasy, like winged jumping boots that let you leap so high you startle the birds; inventions to assuage fears, like a glowing teddy bear; inventions to improve upon boring tasks or gloomy weather, like child-size bath-foam animals and animal umbrellas; and even educational inventions, like the treasure-hunt letter maze. Best of all are the inventions just for fun: the skipping machine that should be in every playground and the sheep toboggan (real sheep not included) that takes sledding to a whole new level. In a perfect mimicry of marketing, each toy is advertised with an earnest, compelling description and a detailed hand-drawn illustration of happy children demonstrating the fun that can be had. Reminiscent of Marjorie Winslow’s Mud Pies and Other Recipes, Fantastic Toys is a book not only for reading but for marveling, inventing, and building. Who knows what other fantastic toys are just waiting to be invented?

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On the Go Awesome
Written by Lisl H. Detlefsen & illustrated by Robert Neubecker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
A fun, awesome depiction of all the incredible ways we travel, perfect for fans of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site.
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  1. 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.

  2. Llama Llama Zippity-zoom - On the playground, Llama goes fast! Llama zips by on his scooter and swishes down the slide–whoosh! Younger audiences will love doing as Llama does in this supremely adorable fourth board book.

  3. How to Train a Train - A whimsical guide to training a “pet train” instructs young enthusiasts about important issues including where trains live, what they like to eat, and how to get them to perform the best train tricks.

  4. All Buckled Up - From bestselling team Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha comes an adventure-filled board book about travel safety, seatbelts, and wild rides! Whether you ride in a stroller, a bulldozer, a garbage truck, or a racecar, everybody buckles up for adventure! Learn from all the important people that wear seatbelts before they take off on wild rides. Astronauts, garbagemen, and firefighters agree: Everyone’s ready to go for ride, As soon as they buckle the belt by their side. Time to go? It’s easy and quick… One, two, three, CLICK! All buckled up! This board book is perfect for parents who want to drive home the lesson that seatbelts are important…and the first step toward adventure!

Books About Vehicles and Bicycles

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Chirri and Chirra, In the Tall Grass
Written & illustrated by Kaya Doi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-8

In their second adventure to reach the US market, Chirri & Chirra become very small, and so are able to explore the magical world hidden away in a mound of tall grass. Filled with friendly, industrious bees and equally inventive bugs, this is a book that brings the lovely particularity of life in Japan––marked by food and nature––to young readers here.

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The Girl and the Bicycle
Written & illustrated by Mark Pett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-8

A wordless picture book in which a girl sees a bicycle she wants to buy, works hard for a kindly neighbor to earn the money for it, then gets a pleasant surprise.

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Two Bicycles in Beijing
Written by Teresa Robeson & illustrated by Junyi Wu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

One, two; yi, er. Side by side, two bicycles, Lunzi and Huangche, come out of the factory. Side by side, they watch the city of Beijing from their shop window. Then a young girl comes in and buys Huangche, rolling him away from Lunzi! With the help of a delivery boy, Lunzi begins an epic race to find her friend that introduces readers to all the sights and sounds of Beijing.

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  1. Curious George Rides a Bike - George helps a little boy with his paper route and gets into all sorts of trouble.

  2. Chirri & Chirra, Under the Sea - On their sixth adventure, Chirri and Chirra bicycle beneath the waves, discovering the beauty of coral and the deliciousness of marine edibles. Chirri and Chirra are pedaling along when they find a cave. At the end of the tunnel, they see a light. Oh! They are under the sea! They pedal through a maze of color and pass through an opening in the seaweed, into a scene of seashells of all colors and shapes. Naturally, they come upon sea treats, such as parfait à la conch and marine soda jelly topped with pearl cream. This is the happy, lovely world of Chirri and Chirra, where they stumble on the most wonderful surprises. Born in Tokyo, Japan, Kaya Doi graduated with a degree in design from Tokyo Zokei University. She got her start in picture books by attending the Atosaki Juku Workshop, held at a Tokyo bookshop specializing in children’s books. Since then she has created many picture books featuring her delicate color-pencil drawings. She lives in Chiba Prefecture and maintains a strong interest in environmental and animal welfare issues. Since the earthquake of 2011 she has been active in recovery and shelter efforts for abandoned pets. David Boyd is Assistant Professor of Japanese at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His translations have appeared in Monkey Business International, Granta, and Words Without Borders, among other publications.

  3. Bikes for Sale - Maurice rides his bike to his shop every day. Lotta rides her bike to collect sticks every day. Both go about their separate routines, unaware of the friendship that awaits them just a few blocks away. But what happens when a branch and a lemon peel get in the way? This delightful falling-in-like story from acclaimed picture book creators Carter Higgins and Zachariah OHora celebrates the power of coincidence to lead us to the friends we’re meant to meet all along.

  4. Emmanuel's Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah - Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah’s inspiring true story–which was turned into a film, <i>Emmanuel’s Gift, </i> narrated by Oprah Winfrey–is nothing short of remarkable. <p/>Born in Ghana, West Africa, with one deformed leg, he was dismissed by most people–but not by his mother, who taught him to reach for his dreams. As a boy, Emmanuel hopped to school more than two miles each way, learned to play soccer, left home at age thirteen to provide for his family, and, eventually, became a cyclist. He rode an astonishing four hundred miles across Ghana in 2001, spreading his powerful message: disability is not inability. Today, Emmanuel continues to work on behalf of the disabled. <p/>Thompson’s lyrical prose and Qualls’s bold collage illustrations offer a powerful celebration of triumphing over adversity. <p/>Includes an author’s note with more information about Emmanuel’s charity.

Books About Vehicles and Spacecraft

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Go for the Moon
Written & illustrated by Chris Gall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

For the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, a step-by-step explanation of how the Apollo 11 spacecraft worked as told by a young enthusiast.The Apollo 11 astronauts have prepared carefully for their attempt to be the first men to land on the moon. The young narrator of this book has prepared carefully, too: he explains the design of the spacecraft, the flight from the earth to the moon, and the drama of touching down - while shadowing the astronaut’s voyage with one of his own. Go for the Moon! captures the fascinating detail and inspiring adventure of the moon landing. It is a captivating celebration of one of humankind’s greatest technical achievements and most extraordinary feats of exploration.

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Heart on Pluto
Written by Karl Jones & illustrated by Andrew J. Ross
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Love is everywhere, even in the fartherst reaches of the Solar System. On NASA’s first-ever mission to Pluto, the New Horizons satellite discovers that even when you’re far from home, you are loved.

New Horizons was the first NASA satellite to visit and take close-up images of Pluto. And though the journey was long and challenging, New Horizons discovered a message of love in the heart-shaped nitrogren ice lake on Pluto’s surface.

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Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11
Written & illustrated by Brian Floca
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-10

Here is the story of the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon – a story of leaving and returning during the summer of 1969, and a story of home, seen whole, from far away by steady astronauts in their great machines.

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  1. A to Z Mysteries Super Edition #12: Space Shuttle Scam - Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose tackle an out-of-this-world mystery--in the twelfth A to Z Mysteries Super Edition!

  2. Always Looking Up - This empowering picture book biography tells the story of Nancy Grace Roman, the astronomer who overcame obstacles like weak eyesight and teachers who discouraged women from pursuing astronomy to lead the NASA team that built the Hubble Space Telescope. A testament to women in scientific careers and a record of an important NASA milestone.

  3. Mousetronaut - A heartwarming picture book tale of the power of the small, from bestselling author and retired NASA astronaut Commander Mark Kelly. Astronaut Mark Kelly flew with “mice-tronauts” on his first spaceflight aboard space shuttle Endeavour in 2001. Mousetronaut tells the story of a small mouse that wants nothing more than to travel to outer space. The little mouse works as hard as the bigger mice to show readiness for the mission . . . and is chosen for the flight! While in space, the astronauts are busy with their mission when disaster strikes—and only the smallest member of the crew can save the day. With lively illustrations by award-winning artist C. F. Payne, Mousetronaut is a charming tale of perseverance, courage, and the importance of the small!

  4. UFO Spotted!: A Branches Book (Hilde Cracks the Case #4), Volume 4 - Hilde has solved all sorts of tough cases, but her latest case is OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD!

Books About Vehicles and Buses

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Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
Written & illustrated by Mo Willems
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

When a bus driver takes a break from his route, a very unlikely volunteer springs up to take his place-a pigeon! But you’ve never met one like this before. As he pleads, wheedles, and begs his way through the book, children will love being able to answer back and decide his fate. In his hilarious picture book debut, popular cartoonist Mo Willems perfectly captures a preschooler’s temper tantrum.

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Last Stop on Market Street
Written by Matt De La Peña & illustrated by Christian Robinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A young boy rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things. By the author of the celebrated picture book A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis.

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Maisy Drives the Bus
Written & illustrated by Lucy Cousins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Who’s waiting at the stops? Preschool fans will be thrilled to climb aboard for a bus ride with Maisy.

Maisy and her friends act out the lively adventures young children have — or dream of having — every day. In Maisy Drives the Bus, Maisy visits each bus stop to pick up passengers. Here’s another very good reason to be crazy for Maisy!

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  1. Bunnies on the Bus - A romping, riotous read-aloud from best-selling author Philip Ardagh and award-winning illustrator Ben Mantle

  2. The Wheels on the Bus - The 25th anniversary edition of a beloved classic Over a million young readers have enjoyed the wheels that go round, doors that open and shut, and people who go bumpety-bump. Today it remains as fresh and engaging as when it was first published twenty five years ago. To celebrate the anniversary, Paul O. Zelinsky has created an all-new cover featuring twenty five, hidden 25s. Some are the number 25 and others are 25 of something in the picture. Can you find them all?

  3. Wheels on the Bus - This best-selling book based on the popular children’s song has driven its way into the hearts of many since its 1991 release. With wheels that go round, doors that open and shut, wipers that swish, and people that go bumpety-bump, the board book version of The Wheels on the Bus is the perfect token for a whole new generation of readers.

  4. Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! - Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!

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Books About Vehicles and Lifestyles

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Supertruck
Written & illustrated by Stephen Savage
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

When the city is hit by a colossal snowstorm, only one superhero can save the day. But who is this mysterious hero, and why does he disappear once his job is done? Find out in this snowy tale about a little truck with a very big job, the second of Steve Savage’s vehicle-based picturebooks.

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Charlie Rides
Written & illustrated by Bob Bianchini
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This is such a fun father/son book! The illustrations are super cute and I love how it talks about such a diverse amount of transportation and ends on a sweet father/son note. :)
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Charlie loves things that go planes, trains, bicycles, scooters, and even spaceships! He also loves to share in the fun of each mode of transportation with his dad. But, for Charlie, the best ride of all is when his dad swoops him up onto his shoulders for a piggyback ride! The first in a fresh, new board-book series takes the evergreen concept of transportation and gives it a tender, loving twist. Perfect for new dads and Father s Day promotions, “Charlie Rides” captures a child s love for transportation while also affirming that the quality time shared between father and son is what means the most. “

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Demolition
Written by Sally Sutton & illustrated by Brian Lovelock
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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.

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  1. Otis and the Kittens - On the farm where Otis the tractor lives, it hasn’t rained in a long time and farmers all over the valley have grown anxious with water in such short supply. One hot afternoon, when Otis and his friends are resting beneath the shade of the apple tree, Otis spots something moving down in the valley—an orange tabby cat headed straight for the old barn. But then Otis sees something else that causes his engine to sputter . . . a swirl of smoke coming from the same barn. A fire! As Otis races toward the fire with his friends in tow, he spots the tabby cat mewing in alarm. Otis rushes inside to discover the source of the cat’s worries–her little kittens are perched up on the hayloft, scared. Otis never hesitates. Yet even after he delivers a tractor full of kittens safely outside, their mama remains upset. Re-entering the burning barn, Otis discovers why: one tiny kitten, still too scared to move. With a friendly chuff, Otis coaxes her down and she scampers out the door. That’s when the floor collapses with a CRASH, trapping the tractor. Now Otis, the friend everyone can count on, must count on his friends. Told with a sense of play and devotion, this is a heartwarming tale that reminds readers that sometimes even those who we count on to help us need a little help themselves. From the creator of Otis, Otis and the Puppy, and the illustrator of The Little Engine That Could and Of Thee I Sing by President Barack Obama.

  2. Around Town - Lift-the-flaps to take a trip around town! Cookies warming in the bakery, pups playing in the park, and diggers working at the construction site—so many things are happening in this busy little town! Follow the adorably illustrated animal citizens and learn about different vehicles, landmarks, and businesses that make up a town. Little ones will love the lift-the-flaps and die-cuts that reveal animal antics and make story time interactive.

  3. 20 Big Trucks in the Middle of the Street - Count the trucks getting stuck in a traffic jam in this rhythmic read-aloud sure to draw in kids who love everything on wheels. One ice-cream truck selling everything sweet breaks down and blocks the middle of our street. If you’re a little boy on a bike, an ice-cream truck on your street is always a welcome sight. But what if the truck breaks down and blocks the mail truck behind it (now there are two), not to mention a third truck carrying hay? One by one, trucks of all types and sizes and functions are sure to pile up behind, offering ample opportunity for ogling — and counting. And maybe the boy’s idea for putting one of the trucks to good use might even save the day!

  4. My Papi Has a Motorcycle - A celebration of the love between a father and daughter, and of a vibrant immigrant neighborhood, by an award-winning author and illustrator duo. When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees the people and places she’s always known. She also sees a community that is rapidly changing around her. But as the sun sets purple-blue-gold behind Daisy Ramona and her papi, she knows that the love she feels will always be there. With vivid illustrations and text bursting with heart, My Papi Has a Motorcycle is a young girl’s love letter to her hardworking dad and to memories of home that we hold close in the midst of change.

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Books About Vehicles and Alphabet (abcs)

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B Is for Bulldozer
Written by June Sobel & illustrated by Melissa Iwai
Thoughts from 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.
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Get ready for a ride through the alphabet at a busy construction site. There’s a big yellow Bulldozer, a tall shiny Crane, a rusty red Dump truck–and the construction crew is hard at work. But what are they building?

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Alphabet Trucks
Written by Samantha R Vamos & illustrated by Ryan O Rourke
Thoughts from 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!
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Truck lovers find familiar and unusual trucks and learn where they work and what they do.

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Alphabet Trains
Written by Samantha R Vamos & illustrated by Ryan O Rourke
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
Such a great train book! Vamos is incredibly clever and detailed in her train choices, and while I wondered if she was making some of these up, in the back of the picture book edition there is a short explanation of each train she chose... and they're all real trains, so it felt educational as well as very enjoyable. An excellent rhyme scheme is always a plus in my book, and finding the way the letters are used in each illustration is a fun add.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

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.

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

Books About Vehicles and Technology

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The Construction Crew
Written by Finn Coyle & illustrated by Srimalie Bassani
Thoughts from 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.
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

There are countless machines that help out on a construction site. Everything from a bulldozer to a crane has a very special job. Do you know what it is? Lift the page to learn about what each machine does and discover what happens when they all work together!

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Rapid Responders
Written by Finn Coyle & illustrated by Srimalie Bassani
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Community helpers keep us all safe and they have special machines that help as well. Police cars, coast guard cutters, ambulances, rescue helicopters, and fire trucks each serve our community in their own way. Do you know what it is? Lift the page to learn what each machine does and discover what happens when they all work together!

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Locomotive
Written & illustrated by Brian Floca
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-10

All aboard! From the creator of the “stunning” (Booklist) Moonshot, a rich and detailed sensory exploration of America’s early railroads. It is the summer of 1869, and trains, crews, and family are traveling together, riding America’s brand-new transcontinental railroad. These pages come alive with the details of the trip and the sounds, speed, and strength of the mighty locomotives; the work that keeps them moving; and the thrill of travel from plains to mountain to ocean. Come hear the hiss of the steam, feel the heat of the engine, watch the landscape race by. Come ride the rails, come cross the young country!

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  1. Built for Speed: A Branches Book - Ready, set, go! Layla and the Bots are heading to the races!
    Pick a book. Grow a Reader!
    This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line Branches, aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow! Blossom Valley is hosting a go-kart race! The go-karts are provided for all the kids in town. Layla and the Bots can’t wait for race day! But one racer, Tina, needs their help. She needs a new cart that uses hand-controls and other cool features. Layla and the Bots know just what to do… they will build her a brand-new cart that’s even faster than her wheelchair! But will Tina’s go-kart have enough speed to win the race? With full-color artwork on every page and speech bubbles throughout, this early chapter book series brings kid-friendly STEAM topics to young readers!

  2. Machines in Motion: The Amazing History of Transportation - A detailed history of how many of the world’s most recognizable modes of transportation came to be. Every day, all over the world, people travel: short trips or great voyages, moving slowly and steadily or racing along at super-fast speeds. They make their trips in cars, trains, planes, ships and on bikes—and some people have even blasted off in rockets! But how did these vehicles become what we know now? With intricately illustrated timelines, this book takes readers on a journey through the developmental history of various modes of transportation—from chariots to electric cars, dugout canoes to ocean liners, cable cars to bullet trains, and the many iterations in between. The fascinating stories behind each of these machines join together to reveal a comprehensive history of how new and inventive forms of transportation have built off one another to change our world.

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

  4. 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!

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Books About Vehicles and Racing

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Race Car Rally!
Written by Alan Copeland & illustrated by Rhys Jefferys
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Grab hold of this book that lets you steer a race car that’s revving up to win the big race! This is going to be a tough race. . . . There are a bunch of speedy cars already ahead of you! You’re coming up to a blue car there on your right. Speed up and then swerve into the lane to get ahead of him! Put on your seatbelt and your helmet-it’s time to drive a race car! Kids will love using the die-cut handles in this novelty board book to control the race car to steer through the track around cars and into other lanes to try and win the big race!

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Bizzy Bear: Race Car Driver
Written by Nosy Crow & illustrated by Benji Davies
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Bizzy Bear is ready to win the race in this board book full of things to push and pull. Today, Bizzy Bear is driving in a big race – ready, set, go! Switch the light to signal the start and help him speed along in his race car and zoom around the track. Then lift the flag as he crosses the finish line! But will he get there first? Another exciting title in this best-selling series, which encourages preschoolers to get involved in the storytelling.

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Race!
Written by Sue Fliess & illustrated by Edwardian Taylor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this imaginative book, a tiny car lines up next to all the other cars revving their engines. . . . Will it be able to take the Winner’s Cup?

Race cars!
Line up!
Who will take the Winner’s Cup?

Cars start,
lights glow…
“Rev your engines…GO GO GO!”

All the cars are lining up for the race, but one car is smaller than the rest. As it squeezes in between all of them, the cars rev their engines . . . and they’re off! Down mountains and by waterfalls, through tunnels and past landslides, the cars race through places that somehow look oddly familiar. . . .

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  1. Vroom! - Join a little girl as she zooms— past fields and forests, up mountains, over rivers, through deserts, home again, and into bed in this playful picture book about the power of imagination, from award-winning author and artist Barbara McClintock.

  2. The Berenstain Bears and the Big Road Race - Papa Bear and his family watch as the little red car competes in a race against the big orange, yellow, green, and blue cars.

  3. Super Rabbit Racers! - Rev up those engines as Super Rabbit Boy, King Viking, and more favorite characters go head-to-head in an epic race that's wheelie fun!

  4. Plants vs. Zombies Volume 5: Petal to the Metal - Sun-powered, plant-driven speedsters take on imp-powered, zombie-driven hot rods! Let the races begin! Crazy Dave faces the incredibly tough <i>Don’t Blink</i> videogame–and he also challenges Dr. Zomboss to a series of contests to determine the future of Neighborville! The car-filled competition is underway, and Crazy Dave and Dr. Zomboss are neck and neck! Paul Tobin (<i>Bandette</i>, <i>The Witcher</i>) and Ron Chan (<i>Star Wars</i>, <i>The Guild</i>) return to deliver another hilarious zombie battle to your burg! <p/>Collects <i>Plants vs. Zombies</i> comics 7 to 9. <p/>PopCap’s immensely popular <i>Plants vs. Zombies</i> game gets another serving of hilarious, plant-filled, zombie-zapping comics! These durable, value-priced hardcovers are aimed at game players of all ages! <p/>Praise for previous volumes of the Dark Horse Plants vs. Zombies series: <p/>This is one of the more fun video game adaptations that I’ve read . . . <i>-Front Towards Gamer</i><br>This witty comedic tale with delightful art and rich colors definitely does justice for what started out as a tower defense game. Impressive. <i>-Comic Crusaders </i> <p/>It has light-hearted humor and makes the characters of the video game even more interesting. <i>-Nuke the Fridge</i> <p/>Capturing the tone of the game perfectly, this team brings the madcap of Popcap to brilliant life and imagination, with all the humor, wit, and ice cream you could hope for. <i>-Fanboy Comics</i>

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Books About Vehicles and Outer Space

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Space Squad
Written by Finn Coyle & illustrated by Srimalie Bassani
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A diverse range of space scientists introduce the machines they use to explore and study space. Children will discover the spectacular space fleet, including a carrier rocket, spaceplane, space exploration vehicle, satellite, and the International Space Station. As children are asked if they know what each machine does, the answer is revealed on the next page.

About the Finn’s Fun Trucks series: Written by 11-year-old truck enthusiast Finn Coyle, the Finn’s Fun Trucks series provides a vocabulary-rich introduction to transportation for truck-loving children with the help of a diverse range of vehicle operators and community helpers.

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Space Squad
Written by Finn Coyle & illustrated by Srimalie Bassani
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A diverse range of space scientists introduce the machines they use to explore and study space. Children will discover the spectacular space fleet, including a carrier rocket, spaceplane, space exploration vehicle, satellite, and the International Space Station. As children are asked if they know what each machine does, the answer is revealed under a sturdy full-page flap.

About the Finn’s Fun Trucks series: Written by 11-year-old truck enthusiast Finn Coyle, the Finn’s Fun Trucks series provides a vocabulary-rich introduction to transportation for truck-loving children with the help of a diverse range of vehicle operators and community helpers. Each spread has a full page lift-the-flap feature providing a wealth of learning and discovery in each book.

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The Space Walk
Written & illustrated by Brian Biggs
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

One small step for man is one giant leap for friendship in this funny kid-level space adventure

Astronaut Randolph Witherspoon wants to take a walk–a space walk, that is! But Ground Control has other ideas. Randolph must eat some lunch, get some exercise, and then he can go outside, provided he dresses warmly and doesn’t talk to strangers. But Randolph’s mission doesn’t exactly go to plan, leading to an unexpected new friend.

Brian Biggs puts an interstellar spin on the parent-child relationship in this hilarious new picture book.

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  1. Super Rabbit Boy Blasts Off! - Pick a book. Grow a Reader! <p/>This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line, Branches, aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow! <p/>Help! Meanie King Viking is causing trouble in space! Super Rabbit Boy knows he can stop him. But can he fly a wobbly Level 1 rocketship, stop an army of space robots, and find King Viking? This latest <b>Press Start!</b> adventure is simply <b>out of this world</b>! <p/>With full-color art by Thomas Flintham!

  2. Alien Nate - Nate’s on a mission to Earth from the planet Vega. His goal: eat pizza! Luckily, soon after he crash-lands on Earth he meets Fazel, who helps him create a disguise, learn the ways of Earthlings and, most importantly, stuff himself with pizza! Nate quickly discovers there are lots of things to love about Earth and Earthlings besides pizza. He’s having a blast! There’s only one problem. Two Men in Beige (government agents) are desperate to capture him and bring him to their lab - and they’re starting to close in. Will Fazel and Nate manage to elude the Men in Beige while they find fuel for Nate’s spacecraft so he can head home? And will Nate have had his fill of pizza by then? Here’s a sidesplittingly funny graphic novel from multiple-award-winning writer, illustrator and cartoonist Dave Whamond. With its irreverent humor and high energy, it’s a perfect pick for emerging readers. Along with the fun, the lovable main character models an eagerness to learn new things and broaden his horizons and, together with Fazel, is able to look past surface differences to find friendship and a shared sense of adventure. There are terrific character education lessons here on adaptability, inclusiveness (even of “aliens”) and teamwork. p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 10.0px Verdana} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 10.0px Verdana; min-height: 12.0px}

  3. Ready, Set, Blast Off! - “Picked to represent their planet Nebulon in the Interstellar Space Race, Zack and his friends navigate their specially designed car through an underwater maze, around planetary rings, and through the stars! But when trouble stirs within the team, Zack must take charge. Can he lead them to victory?”–

  4. Curiosity - Maybe you remember when a little robotic spacecraft landed on a far-off planet. On August 6, 2012, the rover Curiosity touched down on the rocky surface of Mars—and now she’s ready to guide you through her journey firsthand. From idea to creation and beyond, this fact-filled, stylish book introduces readers to Curiosity and her mission: to discover more about the red planet and search for evidence of life. How did Curiosity get her name? What tools does she use to carry out her tasks? In her own voice, the popular NASA rover tells how and why she traveled more than 350,000,000 miles to explore a planet no human has ever visited . . . and what she’s been doing there. In his debut picture book, Markus Motum brings Curiosity’s story to life in vivid color: the deep blues of space set off the warm, rusted hues of Mars’s dusty red surface, marking this lovable rover and her mission as something special—truly a world apart.

Books About Vehicles and Colors

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Tractor Mac Colors on the Farm
Written & illustrated by Billy Steers
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

This new edition to the Tractor Mac series is a board book that teaches children about the different colors of the rainbow. Tractor Mac and his vehicle and animal friends, including Sibley the horse, Pete the pig, and Goat Walter, show kids around Stony Meadow Farm in order to observe the colors of various objects found on the farm.

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Picture Fit Board Books: A Traffic Jam of Trucks
Written by Roger Priddy
Thoughts from 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.
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

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!

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Cars and Trucks on the Road
Written & illustrated by Alessia Girasole
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

This charming and witty “can-you-find-it” large-format board book follows one purple car from road to road while a succession of other vehicles joins it. Each spread also features a certain number of hidden items for children to find. Will kids be able to find the 10 bluebirds alongside the lone purple car? What about the two black limousines and nine potted plants? It all culminates in the final gatefold spread, which reveals a tremendous traffic jam with every car from the previous spreads! Children will spend hours poring over this book as they search for their favorite vehicles and reoccurring characters on every page. They’ll also find mini-stories within the main story (will the giraffe bike messenger find his lost wallet?), and several hidden items on every page. Numbers and colors are clearly indicated on each spread, and although certainly busy, each spread is carefully designed to provide just the right amount of challenge to young children.

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  1. Freight Train - Red caboose at the back, orange tank car, green cattle car, purple box car, black tender and a black steam engine . . . freight train. In simple, powerful words and vibrant illustrations, Donald Crews evokes the rolling wheels of that childhood favorite: a train. This board book features sturdy pages and is just the right size for little hands. This Calecott Honor Book features bright colors and bold shapes. Even a child not lucky enough to have counted freight cars will feel he or she has watched a freight train passing after reading Freight Train. Donald Crews used childhood memories of trains seen during his travels to his grandparents’ farm in the American South as the inspiration for this timeless favorite.

  2. Let's Watch the Trucks! - When a brother and sister go on a walk to find the yellow truck, they come across many different colors and styles of trucks, all with different sounds–but where is the yellow truck? Young readers will learn to identify colors, trucks, and sounds in this delightful and engaging story.

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Books About Vehicles and Social Themes

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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.

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Otis and the Puppy
Written & illustrated by Loren Long
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Otis and his farm friends love to play hide-and-seek. Otis especially loves to be “It,” finding his friends as they hide. Yet when the newest addition to the farm—a bounding puppy who can’t sit still and has a habit of licking faces—tries to hide, he finds his attention wandering and is soon lost in the forest. Night falls and Otis, knowing his new friend is afraid of the dark, sets out to find him. There’s just one problem: Otis is also afraid of the dark. His friend is alone and in need, though, so Otis takes a deep breath, counts to ten, and sets off on a different game of hide-and-seek.

From the critically-acclaimed illustrator of The Little Engine that Could, Of Thee I Sing, and Otis.

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Let's Go for a Drive!
Written & illustrated by Mo Willems
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Gerald is careful. Piggie is not. Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can. Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to.

Gerald and Piggie are best friends.

In Let’s Go for a Drive! Gerald and Piggie want to hit the road! But the best-laid plans of pigs and elephants often go awry.

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  1. Adventures to School - Kids around the world get to school in unique ways. Take a peek inside this book and see how they reach their destinations! Children all around the world go to school. Whether they’re from Japan, Ukraine, Ethiopia, or the United States, all students have the desire to learn about the world and shape the future. In Bhutan, children walk for three hours to make it to school, and in Pakistan, children travel by rickshaw. Some children in China must climb a heaven ladder, while children in Nepal must walk over a wire bridge. The treks of these students are unique, extraordinary, and even dangerous, and they signify the common determination, perseverance, and sense of adventure shared by young people around the world. Read along as students from thirteen different nations embark on their journeys to get to school in the morning, and learn about the diverse landscapes and cultures of these countries along the way!

  2. Tractor Mac Teamwork - All the vehicles and animals on Stonybrook Farm are enlisted to help build a new swimming hole for their town’s residents. It is a big job, but Tractor Mac and his pals are willing to lend a hand. But a tractor named Deke thinks he can do it all by himself–and do it better than everyone else. He soon learns that a complex job is done best when each member of a team does his or her part.

  3. Road Trip with Max and His Mom - Third-grader Max is heading off on a road trip with Mom. With miles to travel, cousins to meet, and a tall roller coaster to ride (maybe), it will be an adventure! But Max always spends weekends with Dad; will Dad be okay if he’s left behind? And will Max be brave enough for all the new explorations ahead of him?

  4. Kart Rival - When Sheldon spends the day with his aunt, he has no idea he’s about to enter the fast-paced world of kart racing. Sheldon’s not one for sports, but the combination of technical skill and adrenaline, along with an opposing bully, pulls him onto the track. Will Sheldon cross the finish line first, or will his dreams of kart racing break down?

Books About Vehicles and Self-esteem And Self-reliance

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Little Excavator
Written & illustrated by Anna Dewdney
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
I liked that this book about the Little Excavator is something little ones can relate to--they may not be old enough to do all of the big jobs, but they can do specific jobs really well and help in ways no one else can. This book goes through the names of some of the construction vehicles, has sounds to accompany it, and shows the process of a specific building project completed at the end.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

From New York Times bestselling author-illustrator of the Llama Llama books comes a new character ready to dig his way into your heart!

Here come the BIG RIGS rolling down the street. Thumpa-thumpa bumpa-bumpa BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

There’s Loader and Dump Truck, Backhoe and Crane. They’re ready to transform a vacant lot into a neighborhood park. And who wants to help most of all?

Little Excavator! But are there any jobs for someone so small?

Anna Dewdney’s signature rhyming text and inviting illustrations make this a perfect read aloud for for fans of things that go!

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The Little Engine That Could
Written by Watty Piper & illustrated by George Hauman and Doris Hauman
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
I think it's safe to say that almost everyone loves this classic book with a can-do message for littles and adults! I love that the little engine shows perseverance, even when things are hard, and believing in yourself. It's such a great example of having a positive attitude, and that we are in charge of our thoughts and choose what we feel. :
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

A classic story now in a lap-book format has been slightly abridged and features the famous illustrations from the original edition that will keep toddlers cheering on the little blue engine as she continues chugging along.

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Three Cheers for Kid McGear!
Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker & illustrated by A.G. Ford
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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.

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  1. The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise - Sometimes a story comes along that just plain makes you want to hug the world. The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise is Dan Gemeinhart's finest book yet -- and that's saying something. Your heart needs this joyful miracle of a book. --Katherine Applegate, acclaimed author of The One and Only Ivan and Wishtree A 2020 ILA Teachers' Choice
    A 2019 Parents' Choice Award Gold Medal Winner
    Winner of the 2019 CYBILS Award for Middle Grade Fiction
    An Amazon Top 20 Children's Book of 2019

    A Junior Library Guild Selection Five years. That's how long Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, have lived on the road in an old school bus, criss-crossing the nation. It's also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters in a car crash. Coyote hasn't been home in all that time, but when she learns that the park in her old neighborhood is being demolished--the very same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box--she devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state in four days...without him realizing it. Along the way, they'll pick up a strange crew of misfit travelers. Lester has a lady love to meet. Salvador and his mom are looking to start over. Val needs a safe place to be herself. And then there's Gladys... Over the course of thousands of miles, Coyote will learn that going home can sometimes be the hardest journey of all...but that with friends by her side, she just might be able to turn her "once upon a time" into a "happily ever after." This title has common core connections.

  2. Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane - This sparkling middle-grade debut is a classic-in-the-making!

Books About Vehicles and First Concepts

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Bulldozer's Shapes
Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker & illustrated by Ethan Long
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Time for the construction site to SHAPE UP! Little construction fans will love learning their shapes by watching Bulldozer CIRCLE around, clearing away TRIANGLES of dirt until the perfect building spot has been SQUARED away. It’s all in a day’s work for the trucks of the bestselling Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site!

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Look Through: Things that Go
Written by & illustrated by Fhiona Galloway
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

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.

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Our Car
Written by J. M. Brum & illustrated by Jan Bajtlik
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

This unique picture book for the youngest of car lovers celebrates driving, family, and imagination in a vibrant and simple tale with surprising heart. Full color.

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  1. My First Words - See and say your first words! Learn your first words with stylish artwork from Aino-Maija Metsola. With 70 essential words to see and say, plus sturdy pages for little hands to hold, young readers will enjoy naming objects on every spread. My First Words is a perfect introduction for little learners!

  2. The Lost Race Car - Jayden can’t find his new race car. Detectives Fox and Goat are on the case! Join the suave sleuths as they search his house for clues and learn new concepts along the way. What color is the car? How big is it? How many wheels does it have? Even the youngest minds will understand this strikingly illustrated story, and many may even solve the puzzle before the detectives do!

  3. Cars Zoom - Cars stop and go through the city in this photographic board book.

  4. Little Truck - Little Truck is setting out to explore! He’s going fast, climbing hills, and braving tunnels, being just the right amount of careful along the way. But no matter how far he goes, his caring parent is never far behind. This on-the-go board book by beloved author-illustrator Taro Gomi is perfect for toddlers moving onwards and upwards to big adventures.

Books About Vehicles and Family Life

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From Texas with Love
Written by Dan Gutman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

The most exciting road trip in history continues! In this fourth book in the thrilling, New York Times bestselling adventure series, twelve-year-old twins Coke and Pepsi McDonald discover that everything really is bigger in Texas--including the danger!

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The Long Haul
Written & illustrated by Jeff Kinney
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A family road trip is supposed to be a lot of fun . . . unless, of course, you’re the Heffleys. The journey starts off full of promise, then quickly takes several wrong turns. Gas station bathrooms, crazed seagulls, a fender bender, and a runaway pig—not exactly Greg Heffley’s idea of a good time. But even the worst road trip can turn into an adventure—and this is one the Heffleys won’t soon forget.

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All the Way to Havana
Written by Margarita Engle & illustrated by Mike Curato
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

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  1. My Diary from the Edge of the World - Told in diary form by an irresistible heroine, this playful and perceptive novel from the <i>New York Times </i>bestselling author of the May Bird trilogy sparkles with science, myth, magic, and the strange beauty of the everyday marvels we sometimes forget to notice. <p/>Spirited, restless Gracie Lockwood has lived in Cliffden, Maine, her whole life. She’s a typical girl in an atypical world: one where sasquatches helped to win the Civil War, where dragons glide over Route 1 on their way south for the winter (sometimes burning down a T.J. Maxx or an Applebee’s along the way), where giants hide in caves near LA and mermaids hunt along the beaches, and where Dark Clouds come for people when they die. <p/>To Gracie it’s all pretty ho-hum…until a Cloud comes looking for her little brother Sam, turning her small-town life upside down. Determined to protect Sam against all odds, her parents pack the family into a used Winnebago and set out on an epic search for a safe place that most people say doesn’t exist: The Extraordinary World. It’s rumored to lie at the ends of the earth, and no one has ever made it there and lived to tell the tale. To reach it, the Lockwoods will have to learn to believe in each other–and to trust that the world holds more possibilities than they’ve ever imagined.

  2. See You in the Cosmos - 11-year-old Alex Petroski loves space and rockets, his mom, his brother, and his dog Carl Sagan—named for his hero, the real-life astronomer. All he wants is to launch his golden iPod into space the way Carl Sagan (the man, not the dog) launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. From Colorado to New Mexico, Las Vegas to L.A., Alex records a journey on his iPod to show other lifeforms what life on earth, his earth, is like. But his destination keeps changing. And the funny, lost, remarkable people he meets along the way can only partially prepare him for the secrets he’ll uncover—from the truth about his long-dead dad to the fact that, for a kid with a troubled mom and a mostly not-around brother, he has way more family than he ever knew.

  3. Whole Nother Story - Mr. Cheeseman, his three relatively odor-free children, a psychic hairless dog, and a sock puppet named Steve are on the run. Why? Because Mr. Cheeseman invented a time machine, of course. Now they’re being chased by international super spies, top secret government agents, and a genius monkey. Dr. Cuthbert Soup, the head of the Center of Unsolicited Advice, narrates this wild adventure that will lead readers straight into next season’s sequel: <i>Another Whole Nother Story.</i>

  4. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again - Hilarious and endlessly entertaining. -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Books About Vehicles and Girls And Women

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Around America to Win the Vote: Two Suffragists, a Kitten, and 10,000 Miles
Written by Mara Rockliff & illustrated by Hadley Hooper
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

The author of Mesmerized delivers another fascinating glimpse into history, this time the story of two brave suffragists on a trek across America to spread the word: Votes for Women! In April 1916, Nell Richardson and Alice Burke set out from New York City in a little yellow car, embarking on a bumpy, muddy, unmapped journey ten thousand miles long. They took with them a teeny typewriter, a tiny sewing machine, a wee black kitten, and a message for Americans all across the country: Votes for Women! The women’s suffrage movement was in full swing, and Nell and Alice would not let anything keep them from spreading the word about equal voting rights for women. Braving blizzards, deserts, and naysayers–not to mention a whole lot of tires stuck in the mud–the two courageous friends made their way through the cities and towns of America to further their cause. One hundred years after Nell and Alice set off on their trip, Mara Rockliff revives their spirit in a lively and whimsical picture book, with exuberant illustrations by Hadley Hooper bringing their inspiring historical trek to life.

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Go, Girls, Go!
Written by Frances Gilbert & illustrated by Allison Black
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-8

Girls can race…and girls can fly. Girls can rocket way up high! Piloting fire trucks, trains, tractors, and more, the girls in this book are on the go! Join them for an exuberant journey that celebrates how girls can do—and drive—anything.

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When I Hit the Road
Written by Nancy Cavanaugh
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From the award-winning author of This Journal Belongs to Ratchet comes an uplifting, hilarious, illustrated middle grade story about a girl on a madcap road trip. Told in journal entries, When I Hit the Road explores making unexpected friends, multigenerational relationships, and finding out that maybe journaling your adventures isn't so bad after all.

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  1. Alice Across America: The Story of the First Women's Cross-Country Road Trip - Writer Sarah Glenn Marsh and illustrator Gilbert Ford’s Alice Across America is a nonfiction picture book account of maverick Alice Ramsey, the first woman to drive a car across America in 1909. When Alice Ramsey was little, she loved to ride horses. As she grew up, more people were driving cars. From the moment Alice slid behind the wheel, she was crazy about cars. So when the Maxwell-Briscoe Company challenged her to drive one of their new cars across the country as a promotional ploy to prove that even a lady could do it, Alice daringly accepted. With several women by her side, these brazen drivers sustained many hardships over the course of a remarkable two-month journey and far surpassed all expectations. With a clever blend of women’s history, technological history, and American roading geography, this is a celebration of unstoppable women making strides in twentieth-century America. Christy Ottaviano Books

  2. Counting to Perfect - From the author of Eight Keys comes a loving story of sisters who are trying to find their way back to each other.

Books About Vehicles and Motorcycles

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Motorcycle Road Trip!
Written by Stanley Strickland & illustrated by Rhys Jefferys
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Grab hold of this book that lets you steer a motorcycle on a fun road trip! Pack some snacks, fire up the engine, and put on your helmet. It’s time for a motorcycle road trip! The view of the city from here is fantastic! Turn right to merge onto the bridge. Get on your bike and strap on your helmet-it’s time to go on a road trip! Kids will love using the die-cut handles in this novelty board book to control the motorcycle and steer through a city, a forest, and so much more to get to the beach!

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Rabbit and the Motorbike
Written by Kate Hoefler & illustrated by Sarah Jacoby
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Rabbit isn’t sure he’ll ever be brave enough to go on an adventure. He’s a homebody who lives in a quiet field of wheat he dreams of leaving every night. His world is enlarged by his friend Dog and Dog’s tales of motorbike adventures. But one day, Dog is gone, and with him, go the stories Rabbit loves so much. Dare Rabbit pick up the motorbike and live his own story? This timeless fable of the journey from grief to acceptance will touch every reader. For those confronting loss and those eager to explore and experience, Rabbit’s bravery in the face of sadness will console, nurture, and inspire.

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Rolling Thunder
Written by Kate Messner & illustrated by Greg Ruth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Award-winning author Kate Messner and acclaimed artist Greg Ruth honor the sacrifices of American veterans and their families in this poetic tribute.


Lines of bikes are miles long,
shining, half a million strong.
Rumbling, grumbling, engines roar.
Peace signs. High fives. Spirits soar.

Every Memorial Day in Washington, DC, more than a million veterans and their supporters gather for the Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom, a demonstration that pays tribute to the men and women of the US armed forces. This lyrical story honors the bravery and sacrifice of those American heroes – the ones who have returned home, and the ones who haven’t.

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  1. Ralph S. Mouse - In this third and final Mouse novel from Newbery Medal-winning author Beverly Cleary, Ralph heads to school to see what humans do all day . . . and to discover what the “S” in Ralph S. Mouse stands for! With his rowdy cousins constantly wearing out his motorcycle and the Mountain View Inn manager threatening to take care of the mouse infestation once and for all, Ralph decides it’s time to get away for a while. He convinces his human friend Ryan to take him along to school, where Ralph instantly becomes the center of attention. But when Ryan’s class decides to see how smart Ralph is by making him run a maze, the usually confident mouse starts to fret. What if he’s not as clever as he thought?

  2. The Mouse and the Motorcycle - “Boy!” said Ralph to himself, his whiskers quivering with excitement. “Boy, oh boy!” Feeling that this was an important moment in his life, he took hold of the handgrips. They felt good and solid beneath his paws. Yes, this motorcycle was a good machine all right. Ralph the mouse ventures out from behind the piney knothole in the wall of his hotel-room home, scrambles up the telephone wire to the end table, and climbs aboard the toy motorcycle left there by a young guest. His thrill ride does not last long. The ringing telephone startles Ralph, and he and the motorcycle take a terrible fall - right to the bottom of a metal wastebasket. Luckily, Keith, the owner of the motorcycle, returns to find his toy. Keith rescues Ralph and teaches him how to ride the bike. Thus begins a great friendship and many awesome adventures. Once a mouse can ride a motorcyle … almost anything can happen!

  3. Lucky Chuck - A young boy who throws caution and the Motor Vehicle Code to the wind during a reckless motorcycle ride is brought to his senses by a Highway Patrol officer. Simultaneous.

  4. Devils & Thieves - A thrilling new urban fantasy filled with magic and motorcycle gangs from Jennifer Rush, author of the Altered saga–perfect for fans of Beautiful Creatures. Eighteen-year-old Jemmie Carmichael has grown up surrounded by magic in the quiet town of Hawthorne, New York. In her world, magic users are called “kindled,” and Jemmie would count herself among them if only she could cast a simple spell without completely falling apart. It doesn’t help that she was also recently snubbed by Crowe, the dangerous and enigmatic leader of the Black Devils kindled motorcycle gang and the unofficial head of their turf. When the entire kindled community rolls into Hawthorne for an annual festival, a rumor begins spreading that someone is practicing forbidden magic. Then people start to go missing. With threats closing in from every side, no one can be trusted. Jemmie and Crowe will have to put aside their tumultuous history to find their loved ones, and the only thing that might save them is the very flaw that keeps Jemmie from fully harnessing her magic. For all her years of feeling useless, Jemmie may just be the most powerful kindled of all.

Epilogue

21 books that are just too good to leave off of our vehicles list.
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  1. Everything Goes: In the Air - 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.

  2. The Boxcar Children - 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.

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

  4. 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!

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. The Polar Express - 1986 Caldecott Medal Winner A young boy, lying awake one Christmas Eve, is welcomed aboard a magical trip to the North Pole . . . Through dark forests, over tall mountains, and across a desert of ice, the Polar Express makes its way to the city atop the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish. For millions of readers worldwide, this mysterious journey to the North Pole has become a beloved classic. In this 30th anniversary edition, the inimitable artistry of Chris Van Allsburg is revealed in a never-before-seen fashion, with a new jacket design and expanded interior layout. Includes author’s note, downloadable audio read by Liam Neeson, and golden “All Aboard” ornament.

  4. Old MacDonald Had a Truck - Old MacDonald had a farm E-I-E-I-O. And on that farm he had a…TRUCK?! With a DIG, DIG here and a SCOOP, SCOOP there, this board book edition of the wildly popular picture book introduces favorite machines—like the excavator, dump truck, bulldozer, and more—and will have the vehicle-obsessed of all ages reading and singing along.

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  1. The Old Truck - When is an old truck something more? On a small, bustling farm, a resilient and steadfast pickup works tirelessly alongside the family that lives there, and becomes a part of the dreams and ambitions of the family's young daughter.

  2. The Little Engine That Could: 90th Anniversary Edition - Celebrate the 90th anniversary of The Little Engine That Could with this all-time classic reillustrated by Caldecott Award-winning artist Dan Santat! The kindness and determination of the Little Blue Engine have inspired millions of children around the world since the story was first published in 1930. Cherished by readers for ninety years, The Little Engine That Could is a classic tale of a little engine that, despite her size, triumphantly pulls a train full of wonderful things to the children waiting on the other side of a mountain. This anniversary edition features the original text, all-new reimagined artwork and an introduction from Caldecott Medal-winner Dan Santat, and a special letter from Dolly Parton, award-winning singer-songwriter and founder of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

  3. The Sea Knows - Dive in and explore the wonders of the ocean and its inhabitants in this lyrical, fact-filled ode to the sea! This beautifully illustrated picture book features extensive nonfiction backmatter for further exploration. We are young. The sea is old. The sea has secrets to unfold. The sea knows. In this playful, rhyming celebration of the marine world, readers can explore all of the wondrous things the sea knows. It knows huge whales and small krill; it knows short crabs and tall giant kelp; it knows brightly colored starfish in shallow pools; and in the inky depths it knows the alluring jewel of an anglerfish’s glowing lure. Discover all of the strange and magnificent underwater creatures in this accessible tribute to the power and mystery of the ocean.

  4. Everything I Know About Cars - Stop! What’s Your Car I.Q.? The fastest kind of car: A. A jet-powered dragster B. An invisible spy car C. Any car that is red and has flames painted on the sides Cars were invented by: A. Karl Benz B. Professor Flubber C. Two horses in Ohio who got tired of carrying people around all day Souped-up cars are made with what kind of soup? A. Chicken noodle B. Pea C. No actual soup is used Answers inside!

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  1. Ocean Meets Sky - It’s a good day for sailing. Finn lives by the sea and the sea lives by him. Every time he looks out his window it’s a constant reminder of the stories his grandfather told him about the place where the ocean meets the sky. Where whales and jellyfish soar and birds and castles float. Finn’s grandfather is gone now but Finn knows the perfect way to honor him. He’ll build his own ship and sail out to find this magical place himself! And when he arrives, maybe, just maybe, he’ll find something he didn’t know he was looking for.

  2. The Mixed-Up Truck - It’s Cement Mixer’s first day on the job and he doesn’t want to make any mistakes. How can he help the other trucks on the construction site? By mixing some powdery white cement, of course! He mixes it up, adds a little water, and presto . . . a cake?! He must have mixed flour instead of cement. Not to worry, he’ll try again . . . and presto! Frosting?! He’ll keep trying until he gets it just right and it’s time for one more mixing: a bubble bath!

  3. The Secret Subway - 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.

  4. Ahoy, Li'l Buccaneers! - 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.

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  1. It's a Field Trip, Busy Bus! - Today is Busy Bus’s very first field trip! He takes the children to a fire house, where they meet Engine Four, a big, shiny, red firetruck. Engine Four has a hose to put out fires, a ladder to reach tall buildings, and a loud and impressive siren. Busy Bus has none of these things. Will the children still like him? This darling picture book offers a gentle exploration of jealousy and a reminder that we each have our own unique talents that make us special.

  2. Runaway Tomato - For fans of<i> Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site</i> and <i>Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs</i> comes an action packed picture book with a sweet surprise. <p/>Call in the trucks! When a giant tomato breaks loose at the top of a hill, it takes every tractor, fire engine, and helicopter to stop it. Lincoln Agnew’s cool, vintage cartoon style is a perfect match for the high-octane action told in catchy rhyme, culminating in a jam-packed gate-fold spread of the town’s Tomato Festival. What will happen when it rains on all those giant seeds? One giant surprise.

  3. When Jackie Saved Grand Central - 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.

  4. Overground Railroad - **A window into a child’s experience of the Great Migration from the award-winning creators of Before She Was Harriet and Finding Langston**.** As she climbs aboard the New York bound Silver Meteor train, Ruth Ellen embarks upon a journey toward a new life up North– one she can’t begin to imagine. Stop by stop, the perceptive young narrator tells her journey in poems, leaving behind the cotton fields and distant Blue Ridge mountains. Each leg of the trip brings new revelations as scenes out the window of folks working in fields give way to the Delaware River, the curtain that separates the colored car is removed, and glimpses of the freedom and opportunity the family hopes to find come into view. As they travel, Ruth Ellen reads from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, reflecting on how her journey mirrors her own– until finally the train arrives at its last stop, New York’s Penn Station, and the family heads out into a night filled with bright lights, glimmering stars, and new possiblity. James Ransome’s mixed-media illustrations are full of bold color and texture, bringing Ruth Ellen’s journey to life, from sprawling cotton fields to cramped train cars, the wary glances of other passengers and the dark forest through which Frederick Douglass traveled towards freedom. Overground Railroad is, as Lesa notes, a story “of people who were running from and running to at the same time,” and it’s a story that will stay with readers long after the final pages. A Junior Library Guild Selection Praise for Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome’s Before She Was Harriet**, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and winner of the Christopher Award** * “Ransome’s lavishly detailed and expansive double-page spreads situate young readers in each time and place as the text takes them further into the past.”–Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review * “a powerful reminder of how all children carry within them the potential for greatness.”–Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

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  1. Yellow Kayak - A child and his beloved best friend go on a grand sea adventure in this magical picture book by the author and artist who created If I Had a Little Dream. You just never know what a new day will hold if you are brave enough to find out. On one quiet afternoon, a boy and his special friend’s unexpected adventure bring joy and excitement and sights never imagined. And the best part of any adventure is returning home with stories to tell and you best friend at your side.

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