Great Read Alouds: Construction vehicles

Some people say Kansas only has two seasons – winter and road construction. While this is frustrating to adults, many kids can’t get enough of the big machinery used for construction. As winter approaches, there may be fewer diggers, dozers and dumpers to spot on the streets, but you can always snuggle up with your young construction enthusiast and read about them. Here are some of my favorite picture books about construction vehicles.   

Construction Site: Road Crew, Coming Through! written by Sherri Duskey Rinker & illustrated by A.G. Ford

In this book, the construction site team works with a road-building crew to build a superhighway. Through rhyming text and vibrant illustrations we learn how each of the thirteen machines contributes to the task. As always, the trucks work together from dawn to dusk and settle in for the night celebrating a job well done, making this a wonderful bedtime story. There is also a note in the back about including wildlife crossings in road construction plans so that animals can travel safely as well. Be sure to look for Sherry Duskey Rinker’s other Construction Site books – they are all fantastic.    

They’re Tearing Up Mulberry Street written by Yvonne Ng & illustrated by Richard Smythe

A boy walking home from school discovers that a street in his neighborhood is being rebuilt. He meets a civil engineer who explains the problems, plans, and process they will use to make the improvements.  Bright, intricate illustrations and carefully chosen text guide us through tearing up the old pavement, replacing underground pipes, and rebuilding the road. It doesn’t have the smoothest rhythm and rhyme, but I suspect your little builder will ask you to read it so many times that you get good at it. The story features six construction machines and an impressive amount of detail.   

Diggersaurs by Michael Whaite

If your kid loves construction trucks AND dinosaurs, you’ve got to check this book out. This quick read is packed with rhymes and playful illustrations of gigantic dino-machine hybrids. Get ready to have fun with all the sound effects.     

Smashy Town written by Andrea Zimmerman & David Clemsha, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino

Mr. Gilly drove a trash truck in Trashy Town, but now he is a demolition man. When old buildings must come down so a new building can go up, Mr. Gilly goes to work. He uses his crane and its wrecking ball to bring down brick, wood, glass and stone. Then he cleans up the mess with his bulldozer. This is a fun story with rhyme, repetition and lots of smashing. 

More great construction read alouds

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Debbie is a youth services specialist on the Early Childhood team. Look for her on the Learn & Play Bus or hanging out with Baby Bookworms. Along with a passion for reading, Debbie enjoys puzzles, attending local dance and theater productions, gardening, and portrait photography.