board books · picture books · raising strong girls · touch and feel books

Transportation & Construction Books That Feel a Little Less Boyish

A friend recently asked, “What would Isabelle like for her birthday?”

“Honestly? She likes cars and trucks, so that could be a good present,” I replied.

This friend has a son who loves trucks. She recently gave birth to a daughter and is trying to figure out how to navigate the girly-girl world. Therefore, she didn’t respond in a judgmental way. Instead she said, “How about a dump truck?”

“That would be perfect!” I said.

This friend did buy Isabelle a dump truck for her second birthday. She loves putting things in the back of it and making it go.

Yes, that’s my daughter. She plays with cars, looks out for buses and trucks, and reads about construction vehicles. She isn’t into princesses, nor is she into dinosaurs. But, she wears pink and plays with trucks!

I’m constantly on the lookout for transportation and construction books that don’t feel overly boyish. (Not that there’s anything wrong with those books. Heck, we have them and we read them. However, girls can be into these things too!) I’m not talking about books with Barbie riding on a pink truck. (Does that even exist?!!?) I’m simply looking for interesting, well-made books that will honor her interest as a girl. Recently, two books that fit the bill came across my radar!

construction kitties

Construction Kitties written by Judy Sue Goodwin Sturges and illustrated by Shari Halpern (Henry Hold and Company, 2013): Four cool cats live and work together in this book that is filled with bright illustrations and easy-to-read prose. All of the cats, even the one who wears a pink hard hat, operate heavy duty machinery like a backhoe and a roller. All of the kitties eat breakfast together, drive to work together, hang out on a park bench after eating lunch together, and play together. I may not be a cat person (allergies — ugh), but I have quickly come to adore reading this book to Isabelle.


Go! Go! Go! by Nicola Bird and Fiona Land (Scholastic, 2012): This board book encourages young readers to touch and feel their way through the vehicles that go. There are motorbikes, semitrailers, ambulances, steamrollers, tractors, planes, and hovercrafts to see and touch. What I really like is the way each new page invites young readers to say the words that are colorfully illustrated on each page. That is, each page spread starts off with the words “Baby, say.”

Both books have females on the pages. In addition, there’s enough pink and purple to satisfy the tastes of any girly-girl without being nauseating or unrealistic.


3 thoughts on “Transportation & Construction Books That Feel a Little Less Boyish

  1. Construction books are a fun read in our home, too! One of the first ones we read aloud was Easy Street, by Rita Gray, ( We like the diversity of the workers, the rhyming text, and the real life application of road construction. It’s amazing to realize how many times we still talk about Easy Street when we encounter road construction. I think you and your daughter would enjoy this book!

  2. One of our faves is Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site. My daughter (she’s 3) loves it because all the construction trucks go night-night – some with a teddy and others with a blankie. It’s cute, and the text is rhyming.

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