I’ve been around the block when it comes to truck books. Here is my helpful parent guide to the least obnoxious truck books we’ve come across:
- For simple, labelled catalogs of trucks, you can’t go wrong with Richard Scarry. Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go is a good starting place and our first copy was responsible for getting us to and from Acadia fuss-free when Pippin was about 18 months old.
- Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and, to a lesser extent, Katy and the Big Snow: Classics.
- Backhoe Joe: A breakthrough for us; one of our first narrative truck books. What a relief!
- Trashy Town and its companion Dig, about the quietly sweet men who work dirty jobs.
- Here Comes Darrell: So sweet, but with enough trucks to pass muster. The book centers around a year in the life of Darrell, an old New Englander who helps out his neighbors with plowing, hauling, and excavating, until the time comes he needs their help. (For my money, it’s a much better message than the more popular Little Blue Truck, where you must help others or you’re left stranded.)
- Demolition and its companions: a good read-aloud for little kids. Lots of action!
- Dinosaur Rescue combines vehicles AND reptiles for a preschool homerun. There are others in the series, but this is our favorite. (The rescue worker dinos sleep with blankies and loveys after their big adventure — so sweet!)
- Machines Go to Work boasts the prettiest truck illustrations I’ve come across, that’s for sure.
- Good Night, Good Night, Construction Site: The best metered rhyme of all the many, many truck books we’ve read. Sweet and sleepy.
Note, these are not necessarily Pippin’s favorite truck books, but mine. (Sometimes, we agree to disagree.)
Dishonorable mentions: The Working Wheels series — actually, nearly anything from the junior nonfiction section of the library; I Stink which boasts illustrations of dirty diapers and dog poop; all things related to the Pixar Cars or Bob the Builder franchises…