We’ve switched gears to primarily transportation-themed books (pun intended). I’m learning that you can’t predict your child’s interests, and this child is fascinated by cars, trucks, trains, motors, and engines. We raided the board book section at the library recently before a big trip and found some clear winners (according to Liam).
Everything Goes: 123 Beep Beep Beep (and to some degree, the others in this series): This book has somewhat odd illustrations, but it is a counting book that goes from one to ten counting vehicles- RVs, motorcycles, and others. Then it culminates in a traffic jam. It is great for counting (and for spying dogs, which is Liam’s other obsession).
Red Truck: This book has some rhythm, but a lot of it is structured more like contemporary poetry. There are noises (Zoooom and Riiiiing) and little phrases of rhyme as red truck races to save a school bus caught in the mud. Liam loves red trucks in particular, so this one is a huge hit (I think the record for times in a row that we’ve read this is about eight).
Big Busy Book: Trucks and Other Things that Go: I love books with lots of colorful pictures, and this one has several sections (construction, rescue, farming) and pictures within. I think it’s geared toward slightly older children, but Liam enjoys flipping through it and pointing to the different images. There’s a mix of real photos and photos of toys and a matching game at the end.
Trucks: Trucks has slight texture. It is very simple, “Puff puff goes the steamroller, Brmmm brmmm goes the digger” but it culminates in a house being built (and I think Liam loves that it has a clear ending). He has started doing a little “taaaa” sound for the steamroller, which melts us every time.
Little Blue Truck: Jon’s mom bought Little Blue Truck for Liam for his birthday. The rhythm is excellent, and there’s a focus on the sound Little Blue Truck makes (beep beep) along with animal sounds. It’s the story of a little truck and his friends saving a bigger truck stuck in the mud. At first, we read the whole thing through multiple times. Now Liam likes to read certain pages and point out things that he sees (stop signs, a cow, etc.).
Big and Little Things That Go: This book is simple, with just a few pages. Each page has a picture of a big version of something (for example, a tractor) and then a little version of the same thing. The last page has all of the vehicles side by side. Liam loves it, perhaps because of its simplicity.
Tip Tip Dig Dig: Similar to Trucks, this book has a simple story, focusing on each truck’s job, that culminates in something being built. Liam loves the ending, and we always talk about the adventure playground for a few minutes.
Tails: This is one of my mom’s favorite books to get kids. It is a beautifully-made book with textures and moving parts. Liam can get a little rough with it at times, but he really does love the illustrations and touching the textures.
Cozy Classics Jane Eyre: Liam loves Emma (which made the list in an earlier post). He also loves this story. I think he loves pictures of people best because he isn’t quite as interested in Moby Dick, which features less felt people and more scenes/objects.
Dear Zoo: This is another book that allows you to open flapsand find the hidden animals. It’s a great length for this age!
Baby Basics: My First Words: This is a book with photos of everyday objects, babies, and animals, organized topically (“My body” or “Bedtime”). The images are clear and colorful, and it’s simple rather than overwhelming (you can see a page in the picture below).
Some Thoughts on This Age:
Often, our reading time now is less about reading straight through a book and more about naming objects along the way. Perhaps this is a part of his speech development.
Liam is much more interested in real life photographs now and loves dogs, trucks, and trains the most. It still provides excellent entertainment (and we love that he brings us his books now!), and he reads most of his old favorites, too (which is why Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site and Chugga Chugga Choo Choo are featured in the header image).
Reading calms Liam down, provides distraction on car trips, and soothes him when he can’t fall back asleep in the middle of the night. It’s such a nice mid-day break (or tantrum break!), too. I’m amazed at how much he still loves to read.
Do you have any recommendations for books for this age group and/or on the topic of transportation?