There comes a time in most every kid’s life when he (or she!) is absolutely fascinated by trucks. Their size, the noise, the power–it all packs a potent punch. If you have a truck-loving kid in your life, then they’re sure to enjoy the following picture books about trucks.
Did I miss your favorite? Please share in the comments! For my master list of book lists, click/tap here.
Note: After each author’s name, I’ve designated the book’s general age range (B=Baby, T=Toddler, P=Preschooler, EE=Early Elementary).
Favorite Picture Books about Trucks
Duck in the Truck by Jez Alborough (T/P). When Duck’s truck gets stuck in the muck, he enlists the help of some friendly animals (including a sheep in a jeep and a goat in a boat) to rescue him from the sticky situation. I’ve always enjoyed the smooth rhymes and the quirky, surprise ending–after Duck’s truck is freed, he drives off and leaves his rescuers…stuck in the muck.
Little Excavator by Anna Dewdney (T/P). At a busy construction site, Little Excavator (dubbed “Little E”) watches the bigger trucks and then tries–but fails–to emulate them. Yet when the site’s final job requires a truck to drive across a small bridge, it’s something only Little E can do! The late author/illustrator Anna Dewdney’s peppy, rhyming text and darling illustrations (I didn’t know construction vehicles could be so cute!) make this book shine.
Five Trucks by Brian Floca (T/P). I love the way Floca’s books incorporate information and detailed illustrations without overwhelming his target audience. In Five Trucks, he introduces readers to five different airport trucks and describes their responsibilities with impressive simplicity. We read this book before an airplane flight and our toddler loved discovering all these trucks in real-life action.
Tip Tip Dig Dig by Emma Garcia (B/T). by Emma Garcia. This book has been such a hit in our home that we’re on our second copy! Construction vehicles do their various jobs (“With the digger we can Dig Dig Dig”) in a group effort to create an adventure playground. We love the colorful illustrations, simple but effective descriptions, and the final project revealed on the final page.
Old MacDonald Had a Truck by Steve Goetz, illustrated by Eda Kaban. Forget animals–Old MacDonald and his wife have a farm filled with awesome trucks! In a fun twist on the classic song, Old MacDonald’s many vehicles are highlighted, and digs, scoops, scrapes, and more can be found here, there, and everywhere. Eda Kaban’s fabulous illustrations help make this book a must-read for truck fans. (P.S. Don’t worry, the animals are around, too).
My Truck Is Stuck! by Kevin Lewis and Daniel Kirk (T/P). When two dogs get their truck stuck in a giant pothole, they enlist the help of other dogs and their vehicles–but nothing works until Mr. Mechanic and his tow truck arrive to save the day. Young children will love the simple, catchy rhymes (“Lug and lurch. Tug and tow. / 5 engines roar. / The truck won’t go”) and adults will appreciate the fun twist (the pothole was made by prairie dogs who make off with the truck’s load while the drivers are distracted).
Trucks Go by Steve Light (B/T). Forget “Beep!” and “Honk!”–the eight trucks featured in this fun book make awesome noises like “Burbaba burbaba burbaba screech beep-beep-beep crunch crunch crunch” (garbage truck). I guarantee that the more pizzazz you give the truck noises, the more kids will love it.
I Stink by Kate & Jim McMullan (P/EE). “Know what I do at night while you’re asleep? Eat your trash, that’s what. See these bags? I smell breakfast!” A garbage truck with a boisterous personality explains his job and provides an alphabetized list of all the, um, yummy garbage he gets to eat–from apple cores to dirty diapers, moldy meatballs, ugly underpants, and zipped-up ziti with zucchini. This giggle-inducing story inspired a string of companion books, including I’m Dirty (backhoe loader) and I’m Brave (fire truck).
Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld (T/P). Kids can bid goodnight to a variety of construction vehicles in this wildly popular, rhyming story. After working hard all day, each truck performs its final tasks and then hunkers down for the night. (With any luck, reading this at night will inspire your kids to go to sleep themselves!) To find out what happens when the trucks wake up, try the sequel, Mighty, Mighty Construction Site.
Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry (T/P/EE). When the Pig Family travels to (and from) the beach for a picnic, they encounter all manner of vehicles along the way. While many are real, some belong entirely to the realm of imagination (a hippoloader, a pickle car, a teeny-tiny limousine, and more). Kids will love poring over the fantastic, detailed drawings on every page of this classic book.
Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? by Brianna Caplan Sayres, illustrated by Christian Slade (T/P). In this popular and calming bedtime story, the narrator wonders what different trucks do at night, from monsters trucks (“Do they find a giant puddle when their metal teeth need brushing?”) to giant cranes (“Do their moms pick them up and rock them and wish them sweet truck dreams?”). For more stories of “things that go…to sleep,” check out Where Do Steam Trains Sleep at Night? and Where Do Jet Planes Sleep at Night?
Roadwork by Sally Sutton, illustrated by Brian Lovelock (T/P). “Roll the tar. Roll the tar. Make it firm and flat. Squash it down and press it out. Squelch! Spluck! Splat!” Energetic rhymes explain each step of the road-building process, from the planning stage to watching the first cars and trucks zoom by. I appreciate how well this book both entertains and gently educates. For similar books, try Sally Sutton’s Demolition (destroying a building) and Construction (building a library).
Little Blue Truck by Alice Shertle, illustrated by Jill McElmurry (T/P). Little blue truck is friendly to all the farm animals he passes–unlike dump truck, who’s too busy doing “important things” to say hello. But when dump truck gets stuck in the mud, he learns an important lesson about the value of kindness. With its catchy, rhyming text and pitch-perfect message about the importance of being helpful, Little Blue Truck (and its many sequels) is a surefire hit.
Digger Dozer Dumper by Hope Vestergaard, illustrated by David Slonim (T, P, EE). Of all the books on this list, Digger Dozer Dumper offers the most informative guide to trucks. 16 lively poems each showcase a different truck and describe its responsibilities, from a street sweeper and a skid-steer loader to a steamroller, semi, and snowplow. Younger children may be so enthralled they won’t mind the book’s length, but if it’s a problem you can always just read a few poems at a time.
Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino (T/P). Mr. Gilly the garbage collector drives his truck all around Trashy Town, collecting trash from a school, pizza parlor, fire station, and more. When the truck is finally full, Mr. Gilly heads home for a (much-needed) bath. This book has a wonderfully catchy refrain (“Dump it in, smash it down, drive around the Trashy Town!”) and I love how it personalizes the work of an important, but often unsung, community helper.
Go! Go! Go! Stop! by Charise Mericle Harper (T/P). Little Green’s newfound ability to say, “Go!” keeps trucks working hard at a construction site–but when too many “go’s” spin the work out of control, newcomer Little Red (“Stop!) arrives to help strike the right balance. This cute book has fun cartoon pictures, an important message about working together, and a cameo appearance by Little Yellow, who tells all the vehicles crossing the new bridge to “Slow down!”
I Love Trucks! by Philemon Sturges, illustrated by Shari Halpern (T). “I like trucks that blink and scream. I like trucks that roar. But the truck that I like best brings ice cream to my door.” In this simple, rhyming story–a great choice for younger truck fans–a boy gushes about his love for trucks and all the many things they do. Older children will enjoy the truck trivia included on the book’s front and end pages. For another simple truck book, try Trucks by Byron Barton.
20 Big Trucks in the Middle of the Street by Mark Lee, illustrated by Kurt Cyrus T/P). When an ice cream truck breaks down, it causes a traffic jam that leaves 20 big trucks stuck in the middle of a boy’s street. Who knows how to fix this jam? The boy, of course! In this rhyming, counting story, kids will enjoy identifying their favorite trucks and seeing a kid save the day (though he needs help from the crane truck).
First 100 Trucks and Things That Go by Roger Priddy (B/T). This visual dictionary of trucks is a great way for kids to learn and review the names of the many, many different kinds of trucks and other transportation vehicles (including cars, motorcycles, boats, and more). We also enjoy the interactive Slide and Find – Trucks from the same author/publisher as well as number of similar truck-identification books (often found at stores like Target and Walmart).
Digger Man by Andrea Zimmerman & David Clemesha (T/P). A little boy dreams of all the amazing things he’ll do once he buys a “huge digger.” I particularly enjoy how the boy lovingly includes his younger brother–he mentions that maybe he’ll give his brother a ride and that one day he’ll teach his brother to be a “digger man” too. This sweet, simple story is a great choice for little kids with big truck dreams.
[For my master list of book lists, click or swipe here.]