The love of trucks seems inherent in all kids. Girls love them, boys love them. Babies love them, big kids love them (really big kids love them too, as anyone who has ever seen a Dad or Mom “play” with a particularly detailed truck longer than their kids can attest). Publishers know this little secret as well as parents and teachers, so library and bookstore shelves are packed with truck books, making it hard to know where to begin. Here are a few to get you started that have proven kid (and parent) beloved.
Do your kids love trucks in general, or fire trucks specifically? That might be the only way you can pick which of these charming books to start with. Both books are about a truck loving boy names Matt and his trucks. Kids can easily memorize the simple text and love identifying the truck types or parts of the firetruck.
Red Truck by Kersten Hamilton, illustrated by Valeria Petrone
“Red Truck is a tow truck, a work truck, not a show truck…” Hard working Red Truck has to save a stuck school bus full of kids. This is a new book, but will quickly become a favorite. The quirky drawings are reminiscent of J. Otto Seibold, but for a slightly younger crowd.
The Happy Man and His Dump Truck by Miriam Gergely, illustrated by Tibor Gergely
If Red Truck is a new book, this one is quite the opposite. Chances are good that some adult that you know has very fond memories of this Golden Book classic. And some child you know will clamor to be read this picture book over and over and over… The illustrations are friendly and fun and there’s the added bonus of tons of farm animals: trucks + animals = favorite toddler book. (A handy equation to familiarize yourself with, if you have or know young children.)
Machines at Work by Byron Barton
Barton’s books, with their straightforward stories and basic illustrations aren’t necessarily a parents first choice. Until they see the way children respond to them. Kids love all of his books, and this is a fun one that takes you through a day of work for machines (the kinds that people drive). It’s particularly nice that both men and women and people with all skin colors drive these machines.
I Stink by Kate Mcmullan, illustrated by Jim Mcmullan
For kids that live in a city, garbage day is a big day of the week. It’s exciting to watch for the huge garbage truck, then see it lift and dump the trash cans, seeming to eat up all the goop inside. It’s fun for them to read about what one of their favorite kinds of trucks does all day and night. It sneaks in a little learning too, with a rather stinky A-B-C’s. A fun pairing to this book (for grownups too!) is this vintage clip on You Tube of Oscar the Grouch singing “I love trash.”
Tip Tip Dig Dig by Emma Garcia
This is a wonderful trucks book, that belongs on every truck lovers shelf. The pictures are bright and bold, the words repetitive, and the message is even really positive- with all the trucks working together, they can recycle everything from a dump heap into an adventure playground. What I love about this book is that in it’s simplicity, there is actually a lot to talk about as your truck lover grows. We started out chanting the words (“With the Roller, we can Roll Roll Roll…”) when we first read the book (around 18 months old). Then both kids memorized the book and would read it to me. Now, we talk about the different color that each truck is and what it does and how the pieces of trash were recycled. There is a great follow up book too, Toot Toot Beep Beep.