15 Transportation Books for Kids

Beep! Honk! It’s time to get moving with these 15 transportation books for kids! From classic editions to newly-released stories, this list includes dozens of things that go. Kids will see how vehicles work and learn how people use them. They’ll also read quite a few silly stories about the chaos that comes about when animals get behind the wheel! Pick up a few of these books and your family is sure to discover a new favorite.

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Cars and Trucks and Things That Go Richard Scarry

This classic Richard Scarry book is sure to become an instant favorite in your home! Children will eagerly follow along with the story of Dingo Dog, Officer Flossy, and the Pig family. And where’s Goldbug? He’s hiding on every page! Each page also features several vehicles—some are realistic, and some are humorous. Toddlers, preschoolers, and early elementary kids will spend hours studying all of the things that go!

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus Mo Willems

As the bus driver walks away, Pigeon is focused on one thing: driving the bus! But the premise of this book is that the child reading it has to make sure Pigeon does not drive the bus. Pigeon tries hard to get the child on his side. He’ll do anything to convince the child, even offer him five bucks. Eventually, Pigeon gets so wound up that he lands himself in a temper tantrum! No, he cannot drive the bus, but Pigeon eventually finds something else that captures his attention. Toddlers and preschoolers will laugh out loud all the way through this book!

National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Things That Go Karen de Seve

This book offers more than 100 pages of transportation photos, facts, and trivia! Kids will see page after page of boats, bikes, cars, and trains. Plus, they’ll learn about specialty machinery like farm vehicles and construction equipment. And, don’t miss the section on vehicles “up in the air.” There are airships, hot air balloons, rockets, and more! Each page features a few short and descriptive paragraphs, plus call-outs on each of the photos. Confident readers in early elementary school will be able to read some of the text by themselves, but the real draw of this edition is the photos. Kids as young as toddlers will want to see and hear about all of the vehicles!

Roadwork Sally Sutton

Screech! Boom! Whoosh! This noisy book is the perfect pick for any child who loves construction vehicles! The story follows a road crew from the first day on the job until the road is complete. Each page prominently features construction sound effects that kids will love to repeat. The action-packed illustrations show all kinds of kid-favorite vehicles like dump trucks, front loaders, excavators, and steamrollers. It’s a simple book that’s ideal for even the youngest readers!

Katy and the Big Snow Virginia Lee Burton

Follow the charming story of Katy, a little red bulldozer, in this vintage book. As a bulldozer who repairs roads in the summer, Katy is very useful in her town. When it comes time for winter, she turns into a snowplow. But there’s one problem: her town never sees snow. That is until one winter night when the town sees a massive winter storm. Everything is buried in snow that reaches two stories high! There’s no way for fire trucks or mail trucks to get through. The town doctor can’t get out and the power lines are down. The entire city is cut off, but Katy comes to the rescue with her snowplow. Katy is an unlikely hero that will inspire girls and boys alike. Read this one with preschoolers and early elementary children.

The Ultimate Book of Vehicles From Around the World Anne-Sophie Baumann

This book doesn’t include a story, but kids won’t mind because it features 24 pages of hands-on fun! Each spread is dedicated to a specific location and the tasks vehicles perform there. Kids will find trains, fire trucks, boats, garbage trucks, and much more. Plus, every page gives little ones a chance to interact with the book. There are several basic lift-the-flaps, but each site has other hands-on opportunities too. Kids can turn wheels, move the arms of the crane, and tip the dump truck. Every vehicle is labeled, so toddlers and preschoolers can learn new vocabulary too.

Duck in the Truck Jez Alborough

This lighthearted book comes alive with catchy rhymes and improbable heroes. It all starts when Duck is driving home and hits a rock. His truck gets stuck in the mud! A frog, a sheep, and a goat all try to come to his rescue. After a bit of chaos, their teamwork eventually pays off! Read this one with toddlers and preschoolers.

Alphabeep: A Zipping, Zooming ABC Debora Pearson

From ambulance to Zamboni, this book presents a vehicle or road sign for every letter of the alphabet. It’s a colorful book that provides a fun way for the little ones to practice their ABCs. Aside from presenting the individual letters, each page also tells a lively story about the vehicle or road sign. The dump truck goes “clatter, crash, ka-boom” and the car on the highway says “toot toot” as it heads for the exit sign. It’s a great pick for toddlers and preschoolers who love vehicles!

How Trains Work Clive Gifford

From horse-drawn trains to modern-day monorails, this book takes kids on a train-tastic adventure! It’s packed with facts and engaging illustrations. There are lift-the-flap features and some of the pages fold out to reveal a fascinating landscape view of kids’ favorite trains. The book’s text also goes beyond the basics to explain a few pieces of important history and the mechanical workings of trains. The level of detail is appropriate for 4-9 year olds.

Sheep in a Jeep Nancy Shaw

This is another fun book that shows why animals shouldn’t get behind the wheel! Its simple rhyming text comes together perfectly with the illustrations to tell a silly story that will delight kids and parents. As the book begins, the group of sheep are happily driving down the road. But by the end of the book, the sheep have been through a series of misfortunes and have to sell their beloved Jeep—for cheap! Read this one with toddlers and preschoolers.

Little Blue Truck Alice Schertle

A friendly blue truck is the star of this book. He’s well on his way, driving down the country roads and saying hello to all of his friends. However, his journey comes to an abrupt halt when he gets stuck in the mud! Thank goodness all of his farm friends are there to help him out of the sticky situation. It’s a wonderful story of friendship and the power of teamwork. Plus, young children will love making the noises throughout the book and bouncing along with each rhyme. Read it with toddlers and preschoolers.

Go, Pete, Go! James Dean

Pete the Cat is ready to roll in his energetic book! He’s on his bike when Turtle pulls up in a race car. Turtle and Pete wind up in a race, but it doesn’t go as expected. Turtle is confident he’ll win, so he pulls off for lunch, stops for lemonade, and even takes a nap in a hammock! Much to everybody’s surprise, Pete and his bicycle win the race. Young children who are fans of Pete the Cat will definitely enjoy this fun retelling of the classic “The Turtle and the Hare” story. 

Look Inside Things That Go Rob Lloyd Jones

This lift-the-flap book from Usborne takes kids on a fast-paced journey! They’ll see trains, trucks, airplanes, diggers, and more! The illustrations are bright and friendly while the text is quick. Young children will enjoy revealing the surprise under each flap and learning a bit about each vehicle. Read this one with kids 2-5 years old.

Working Boats: An Inside Look at Ten Amazing Watercraft Tom Crestodina

Boats come in all shapes and sizes, each made for a unique job. This book invites children to take a peek inside 10 specific boats to learn what they do. Written by a maritime engineer, this book is packed full of details and facts that are sure to wow curious kids (and adults!). The cross-section illustrations provide a unique view into these boats and the lives of the people who live on them. Kids will see a Coast Guard rescue boat, a ferry, a science research vessel, and more. Because of the level of detail in this book, we recommend it for kids ages 6+.

Cars: Engines That Move You Dan Zettwoch

From the “Science Comics” series, this car-themed graphic novel will teach kids how cars work. The book takes a chronological approach to explaining engines. First, kids will learn about the invention of the first car and the combustion engine. Then the book winds through modern-day car-related developments and ends by discussing the impact vehicles have on the environment. The design and illustrations of this book are both eye-catching and incredibly informative. Children as young as five will enjoy the story, but mid and upper elementary children will be able to understand the science behind it.

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