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My three-year-old is obsessed with vehicles. It started with an adorable fascination with school buses that soon engulfed race cars after watching Lightning McQueen. Then it moved into garbage trucks when he watched them each week with our nanny. Now it’s morphed into construction trucks but let’s be honest – it’s still anything that has wheels.
I found (sadly) that my toddler isn’t too keen on reading the Bernstein Bears or nursery rhymes or anything that has to do with a cute animal learning to quack. When I pull out my big ol’ Richard Scarry Best Word Book Ever from my own childhood, he skips right over the teeth-brushing and circus pages and goes straight to the cars, trucks, and trains.
It means that I am constantly on the hunt for new books that don’t make me want to stab myself when I read them. I’m all for children’s literature and encouraging him to read, but a book has got to be worthy of being read five times in a row to make it onto our shelves.
So to all my toddler mommas that cannot escape the excavator, here are the best construction-themed children’s books out there:
1. Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherry Dusky Rinker and Tom Lichenheld
A wonderful book to read right before bed. You tuck in your toddler and he can tuck in the bulldozer!
2. My Big Truck Book by Roger Priddy
It’s a book of very few words, but we love it in our house. Especially with a kid that is learning to talk – have him point out things to you or do a “hide and seek” by asking him to point out which one looks like momma’s car, etc.
3. Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry
Nobody does children’s books quite like Richard Scarry. His fun characters and a carrot race car and berry jam tanker make it a silly book to read for the car enthusiastic toddler.
4. B Is for Bulldozer by June Sobel and Melissa Iawi
An ABC of the construction site, from asphalt to I-beams and a surprise at the end. Want to guess what they’re building in the book?
5. My Truck is Stuck! by Kevin Lewis
Bright colors and lyrical words make this such a fun book to read! (The tempo feels a lot like Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw)
6. Smash, Mash Crash, There Goes the Crash by Barbara Odanka
So it’s not construction, but it is big and noisy! This one rhymes and has little pigs as the characters – it’s a lot of fun to read in funny voices.
7. Roadwork by Sally Sutton
It can feel a little mundane as it repeats words, but Harrison is able to repeat with me and he loves seeing all the different machines building a road.
8. The Big Book of Things That Go By by DK Publishing
Light on words but big on pictures. Harry loves this one because it covers everything from cars to city buses and bulldozers.
9. Construction Sites by Felicity Brooks
Flaps to lift and a bunny to find on each page! This one is great for the beginner construction-lover, ages 2 and up!
10. Demolition by Sally Sutton
Simple pictures, simple words, and a quick read make this one a favorite.