My little guy LOVES all things construction. Before I had a son — getting stuck in traffic due to roadwork was a real drag. Now, it is so exciting because he’s yelling and pointing out all the different vehicles. It really makes his day. Here are some picture books about construction vehicles and sites that he loves and that I and my husband enjoy reading to him.
1. Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld
My son has professed that this is in fact his favorite book. We read it all the time. We both have it memorized. It’s wonderfully illustrated, sweet, and with its easy-going rhythm and rhymes, is perfect for bedtime.
2. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
Grandma gave this book to my son for Christmas when my son was one and he loves it. We’ve been reading this book regularly for over a year now. If we were going to go on a deserted island — I’d probably bring along this book for my son.
3. Trucks Go by Steve Light
I bought this book on a whim and I’m so glad I did. My son was maybe eight months old when I started reading this book to him. It was a favorite from the beginning. The illustrations are beautiful and it’s full of all the sound effects that different trucks make. My son still loves for me to read this book to him. I’m a big fan of sound effects — so I love reading this one to him. It’s a short book but we’ve never read this book just once.
4. Big Work Machines by Patricia Relf and Illustrated by Tom LaPadula
This is the most detailed nonfiction book we have with have on construction vehicles and sites. I’ve been pleasantly surprised that my son will happily sit down while I read the entire book to him. This book goes beyond the basics of your usual construction vehicles and discusses trenchers, pipe-laying cranes, tunnel-boring machines, gantry cranes, etc. It presents the vehicles in a logical way that tells a story describing both the vehicle and its function. This is another book that is sadly out of print, but there are several used copies on Amazon for $.01.
5. Eye Openers Diggers and Dump Trucks by Angela Royston, Tim Ridley, Jane Cradock-Watson, Dave Hopkins, Conrad GMBH, and Ted Taylor
This nonfiction book gives basic facts about all of the various diggers and dump trucks out there. It is interesting and well designed. I was surprised by how much I learned by reading this book and my son loves it when I read it to him. It’s another one of our regular bedtime books. It is out of print but there are some copies available used on Amazon for $.01.
6. Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton
It’s a classic picture book. Katy is a snow plow and during a big storm people need her help. She works hard and helps everyone that asks for her help. It’s another Virginia Lee Burton book that we love.
7. My Big Truck Book by Roger Priddy
This book is clear pictures of various trucks labeled with what they are. My son looked at it constantly when he was a baby and he’ll still pull it down from the shelf to look through it. He’ll look through it and ask me questions about the pictures. The words are also very clear making it easy to point to them and tell him what a particular word says. I can easily see him using this book to teach himself to read later on.
8. Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? by Brianna Caplan Sayres and Christian Slade
Like Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site this book has a soothing rhythm and rhyme showing various construction vehicles getting ready to go to bed. My son has this one memorized and I’m almost there.
9. Machines Go to Work by William Low
When we checked this book out from the library it was already mostly destroyed. My son didn’t care. He still wanted me to read it to him over and over and over again. I brought it back tot he library and told them about the damage. We then waited on hold for awhile to get another copy. It, too, was nearly destroyed. My son couldn’t get enough of this book. The way the pages open to show huge pictures make it vulnerable to tearing. However, when you finally do get a hold of a copy that hasn’t been torn to bits, the huge fold out pages make for a great visual.
Another book we’ve read and reread countless times. My son loves this book just as much as he loves Machines Go to Work. Here’s to hoping that William Low has plans to make Machines Go to Work on the Farm, Machines Go to Work Building a Bridge, Machines Go to Work Erecting a Skyscraper, Machines Go to Work… well you get the idea. The Machines Go to Work books are fantastic.
11. I Am a Backhoe by Anna Grossnickle Hines
The beautiful pictures and simple text about a boy pretending to be different construction vehicles really speaks to my son. He loves it. The end shows the little boy playing and then reading with his father. It’s such a sweet and wonderful book that ends beautifully. I love how I feel after reading this book to my son.
12. Demolition by Sally Sutton and Illustrated by Brian Lovelock
For a faster paced book with a great rhythm and rhyme — this one is terrific. It is catchy and will definitely get stuck in your and your child’s head. It’s an easy book to enjoy reading over and over again. It’s fun hearing my two-year-old son say things like, “Rotational Hydraulic Shears.” You can read my full review of it here.
13. What Can a Crane Pick Up? by Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Illustrated by Mike Lowery
Both my son and I love this one. It has bright, beautiful illustrations with lots of smiles. Again, there’s a wonderful rhythm and great rhyming in this book. It’s a very unique book and the rhythm is very different than any other picture book I’ve read. Reading this book with my son makes me so happy. It’s friendly and fun and a real joy to read. (Who knew a book about crane could bring so much happiness?) You can read my full review here.
Where Obtained: All of the above books have been obtained either from bookstores or libraries. I either checked them out or purchased them. I am not affiliated with any of the above authors, illustrators, or publishers. I and/or my son just like these books.
FTC Disclosures: The links in the post above are Amazon affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase the book, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”