Books about transportation seems appropriate during this vacation summer season. All of these books are picture books and are good for ages two through seven except for the last 3 books which are board books good for newborns through age two.
Time Out For Monsters!, by Jean Reidy, and painted with vibrant fun by Robert Neuecker, demonstrates the wild imaginings of a youngster as he is in his time-out corner for bad behavior. What he conjures up is on display with brilliant color which includes a giant fire truck, dump truck and a monster truck.
Railroad Hank, by Lisa Moser, and illustrated by Benji Davies, is a one of a kind book that brings a smile throughout and makes you feel happy by the end of the story. Railroad Hank is taking his train to visit his Granny Bett because she's "feeling kind of blue." As he travels along the way, he makes several stops where he receives suggestions to pick up Granny Bett's outlook. This is where the story becomes fun, and funny. He takes the suggestions a step further. So instead of taking eggs from Happy Flap Farm, he takes the chickens. By the time he gets to Granny Bett's, he has the animals in tow and owners chasing all the way. But Granny Bett becomes so happy that so does everyone else. The clever alliteration throughout the book makes for a lively text along with the "chugga chugga" from the train.
Night Light, by Nicholas Blechman, showcases vehicles that work at night in a most creative setting. There are die-cuts on one page with a clue of what type of vehicle is on the next page. Some of the die-cuts are actually the flashing lights on a school bus and the bold lights of a street sweeper. It's also a terrific counting book.
Scholastic Discover More: Emergency Vehicles, by Penelope Arlon and Tory Gordon-Harris, is a kid-friendly, fact-based book, with striking full page photos and descriptions kept to a minimum. Some of these vehicles include police cars, motorbikes and helicopters.
20 Big Trucks In the Middle of the Street, by Mark Lee, and painted with big color by Kurt Cyrus, is an oversized picture book with perfectly painted pictures that fill the open pages. When one ice-cream truck breaks down, the bottle-neck begins in the narrow city streets. But one boy on a bike figures out how to unclog the traffic jam. This is also a counting book as the boy begins counting the vehicles as they get stuck in the middle of the street.
Everything Goes: In the Air, by Bran Biggs, is a celebration of the ways we travel. This is the newest book in this series. What makes this series so successful is that there is so much to see and learn on every page in this over-sized book. The book follows a young boy as he and his family are about to board a plane. He begins by asking many questions about flight and this is where the book really takes off. Each page is filled with terrific, detailed illustrations which will likely bring about more questions by young readers and adults reading out loud. There are two new smallish size board books in this same series: "Everything Goes: Stop! Go! A Book of Opposites" and "Everything Goes: 1 2 3 Beep Beep Beep! A Counting Book".
Big Mean Mike, by Michelle Knudsen, and digitally illustrated by Scott Magoon, is the perfect book to showcase attitude and peer-pressure. Big Mean Mike is a ruff and gruff dog who drives a big, mean car on the big, mean streets. But his meanness is about to go away when a fluffy tiny bunny appears on his car seat. He tells it to get lost and speeds away. But then it appears again with another bunny and gosh they're so cute. This is a perfect read aloud.
Dig, Dogs, Dig: A Construction Tail, by James Horvath, invites the reader to learn important life lessons. The dog workers learn (along with you) that it takes hard work to accomplish your goals, all involved in any project need to cooperate, even the smallest contribution is important and helping out feels good. As soon as you open the book you are introduced to each of these hard working dogs and from there the illustrations and text are a delight! There is so much to capture and enjoy that this book will be read over and over again.
Go! Go! Go!, by Fiona Land, is a board book geared for babies and toddlers. This large touch-and-feel book has texture that youngsters enjoy feeling. It also features many bright vehicles on land, water and in the air. The text is simple, making this a perfect first word book to teach words and letters.
The Bus Driver, by Todd H. Doodler, is a board book that's a great counting book as the bus driver begins his day picking up many different types of passengers. After counting up to 10, the bus then begins dropping off his passengers winding down the count back to 1. This book is in the shape of a city bus.
Away We Go! (A Shape-and-Seek Book), by Chieu Anh Urban, features bright devices to transport by placing basic shapes in a die-cut format on each page and in each vehicle. This board book is full of vivid color and will entice and teach over and over.