40 Amazing Picture Books for Your Child Who Loves Vehicles

Updated Apr. 11, 2019

If you've got a vehicles lover at your house (be it planes, trains, submarines, cars, trucks, etc.) this is exactly what you've been looking for—we promise. A compilation of some of the very best books about vehicles we could find that span the whole gammit. Some are silly, some will teach you things, but all can simultaneously fuel your child's love of reading and vehicles!

McToad Mows Tiny Island book
#1
McToad Mows Tiny Island
Written by Tom Angleberger and illustrated by John Hendrix
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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.

Every Thursday, as a break from mowing Big Island, McToad and his tractor make their way to Tiny Island, using various modes of transportation and types of machinery to get there and back.

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

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

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

Old MacDonald Had a Truck book
#3
Old MacDonald Had a Truck
Written by Steve Goetz and illustrated by Eda Kaban
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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.

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.

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

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.

The Caboose Who Got Loose book
#5
The Caboose Who Got Loose
Written and illustrated by Bill Peet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
Thoughts from Grammy

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

Katy caboose doesn't like her life at the back of the train. Stuck with clouds of billowing smoke from the engine and a bumpy, jolting ride, she longs for some peace and quiet. When her rusty bolts bust loose, Katy finally gets the life she wants in a way she never expected!This Read-Along Book and CD Favorite includes a paperback edition of the book and a compact disc in a newly designed reusable package. Perfect for car trips, classrooms, and bedtime listening, these recordings feature lively sound effects and original music. The CD includes one reading with page-turn signals as well as an uninterrupted reading.

Mighty, Mighty Construction Site book
#6
Mighty, Mighty Construction Site
Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
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.

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!

Otis book
#7
Otis
Written and illustrated by Loren Long
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from Readerly Mom

This is a sweet little story with a refreshingly unique premise and characters. Kids will have fun exploring the idea of a tractor as the main character, but the plot goes beyond the character as a premise--not only is Otis a tractor, but he's a tractor who has a story arc! The illustrations have a distinctive style as well. All these components come together to create a book that is original and memorable. It wasn't a total home run for me, but it was cute and something I wouldn't mind reading aloud from time to time.

Meet Otis, everyone’s favorite tractor, created by the bestselling illustrator of Love by Matt de la Pena and The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper New York Times bestselling author/artist Loren Long creates an unforgettable children’s classic. Otis is a special tractor. He loves his farmer and he loves to work. And he loves the little calf in the next stall, whom he purrs to sleep with his soft motor. In fact, the two become great friends: they play in the fields, leap hay bales, and play ring-around-the-rosy by Mud Pond. But when Otis is replaced with the big yellow tractor, he is cast away behind the barn, unused, unnoticed . . . until the little calf gets stuck in Mud Pond. Then there is only one tractor—and it’s not big or yellow—who can come to the rescue. It is little old Otis who saves his friend. It is Otis who saves the day. In a wonderful new palette, and in the tradition of classics like Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and The Story of Ferdinand, Loren Long has crafted an unforgettable new story—and character—celebrating the power of friendship and perseverance.

Alphabet Trains book
#8
Alphabet Trains
Written by Samantha R Vamos and illustrated by Ryan O Rourke
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
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.

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.

Otis and the Kittens book
#9
Otis and the Kittens
Written and illustrated by Loren Long
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Tractor Mac Plane Jane's Journey book
#10
Tractor Mac Plane Jane's Journey
Written and illustrated by Billy Steers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Plane Jane soars over clouds and mountains in this original Tractor Mac board book.

Gus's Garage book
#11
Gus's Garage
Written and illustrated by Leo Timmers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Gus's workshop is chock-full of odds and ends. When his friend Rico comes over with a problem—his scooter seat is way too small for a rhino—Gus finds just the thing to fix it. One by one Gus's friends bring him their vehicles and Gus solves their troubles with ingenious solutions. No job is too difficult for Gus! Soon the workshop is almost empty. Is anything left to solve Gus's own problem at the end of a long day? Gus's Garage is Leo Timmers at his best: effortlessly simple text, intricately detailed illustrations, and vehicles galore.

Animobiles book
#12
Animobiles
Written and illustrated by Maddie Frost
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Some vehicles go VROOM! Some animals say ROAR! Put them both together and find out what's in store Imagine a different kind of hybrid on wheels: animalvehicle! The subway-snake slithers for commuters, the cowcars stop to graze in the field, the bear-bus scoots to the den for hibernation. What could be better than a mash-up of two of the best things: animals and things that go vroom!

Little Excavator book
#13
Little Excavator
Written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
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.

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!

Otis and the Puppy book
#14
Otis and the Puppy
Written and 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.

If I Built a Car book
#15
If I Built a Car
Written and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Jack describes the kind of car he would build--one with amazing accessories and with the capability of traveling on land, in the air, and on and under the sea.

The Little School Bus book
#16
The Little School Bus
Written by Margery Cuyler and illustrated by Bob Kolar
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

A happy little school bus and Driver Bob wake up early to pick up children, drop them off at school, then head to the garage for some minor repairs.

Otis and the Tornado book
#17
Otis and the Tornado
Written and illustrated by Loren Long
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Otis and all his farm friends are enjoying a summer’s day, but the bull has no interest in playing and stays in his pen. Suddenly the day turns frightening and stormy: it’s a tornado! Otis takes all of the animals to safety, but the bull is still locked in his pen! Quick as his tires will take him, Otis putt puff puttedy chuffs back to the farm to save the day.

Trains Don't Sleep book
#18
Trains Don't Sleep
Written by Andria Warmflash Rosenbaum and illustrated by Deirdre Gill
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

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.

Digger, Dozer, Dumper book
#19
Digger, Dozer, Dumper
Written by Hope Vestergaard and illustrated by David Slonim
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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?"

How to Track a Truck book
#20
How to Track a Truck
Written by Jason Carter Eaton and illustrated by John Rocco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Tractor Mac Harvest Time book
#21
Tractor Mac Harvest Time
Written and illustrated by Billy Steers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

When the nights start to get cooler and the corn is ready for picking, it's time for autumn fun at the farm! Tractor Mac loves the fall, but he's just too big for the orchard, where he is stuck harvesting apples that Farmer Bill will make into delicious treats. Across the road, Small Fred the tractor is busy with the Pumpkin Picking Festival, but he's just too small to pull all of the people who want to go on a hayride. Working together, Tractor Mac and Small Fred figure out a way to share their chores and share the fun.

20 Big Trucks in the Middle of the Street book
#22
20 Big Trucks in the Middle of the Street
Written by Mark Lee and illustrated by Kurt Cyrus
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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!

Mighty Tug book
#23
Mighty Tug
Written by Alyssa Satin Capucilli and illustrated by David Mottram
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Cars book
#24
Cars
Written by Patricia Hubbell and illustrated by Megan Halsey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-12

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!

Trucks Go book
#25
Trucks Go
Written and illustrated by Steve Light
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

The garbage truck goes, "BRRRRRRRR SCREETCH BEEP-BEEP-BEEP CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH" The fire engine goes, "WHEE-OOO WHEE-OOO WHEE-OOO" The cement truck goes, "VERRRRP JIGGA JIGGA VRRRRUMMMMM" Seven popular vehicles grumble, roar, and crunch their way through this very simple, graphically appealing board book. Perfect for the young truck enthusiast.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!