Things That Go: Books for Young Children

Zoom! Whoosh! Beep! Vroom! Young children love things that go and the sounds they make! Take a look at these books for stories of things that go...and the people who make them move.

Related activities from Reading Rockets

City Lullaby

Illustrated by: Carll Cneut
Age Level: 3-6

From "10 horns beeping" to "2 bikes growling" a baby sleeps on. But when "… 1 bird begins to twitter," a smiling baby awakens! City sounds and sights abound in stylized illustrations and satisfying, rhythmic language of this cumulative rhyme.

Last Stop on Market Street

Illustrated by: Christian Robinson
Age Level: 6-9

Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don't own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn't he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them. Winner 2016 Newbery Award.

Pran's Week of Adventure

Illustrated by: Lisa Cinelli
Age Level: 3-6
Language: Spanish

When the car has to go to the shop, Pran and his mother, Mrs. Patel, try a new way to get to school each day. The results are a wacky week full of misadventure! Spanish version available.

Rosa Rides Her Scooter

Age Level: 3-6

Let’'s find out which toys Rosa and her friends are playing with today! An important series that celebrates inclusivity, promotes gender equality and embraces the uniqueness of every child.

So Many Sounds

Illustrated by: Andy J. Miller
Age Level: 3-6

A wonderful rhyming read-aloud featuring everyday sounds and a refrain that children will love repeating. The playful text and illustrations are sure to delight little ones while also inviting them to pay more attention to the world around them.

Subway Ride

Illustrated by: Sue Rama
Age Level: 3-6

"Down, down, down…now off we go!" begins a journey on city subways from Washington DC to Moscow and more. This short, fantastic, colorfully illustrated trip ends with a brief description of the real transit systems described.

The Airport Book

Age Level: 0-3

Follow a family on its way through the complexities of a modern-day airport. From checking bags and watching them disappear on the mysterious conveyor belt, to security clearance and a seemingly endless wait at the gate to finally being airborne. But wait! There's more! The youngest family member's sock monkey has gone missing. Follow it at the bottom of the page as it makes a journey as memorable as that of the humans above.

Tía Isa Wants a Car

Illustrated by: Claudio Muñoz
Age Level: 3-6

The narrator and her aunt work to save money to buy a shiny green car to take them to the sea. Though it takes time, Tía Isa and her niece reach their goal and buy the car that brings them to the beach. Cheerful illustrations and an upbeat narration with a sprinkling of Spanish words create recognizable characters in a realistic setting based on the author's childhood memories. Also available in Spanish.

Train Ride

Age Level: 3-6
Language: Spanish

An African American boy experiences the excitement of his very first train ride with his parents. Spanish version available.

Up and Down the Andes: A Peruvian Festival Tale

Illustrated by: Aurelia Fronty
Age Level: 3-6

"The mountain landscape is at the center of this picture book about the Peruvian Inti Raymi Festival as children travel from all over southern Peru, by bus, train, boat, mule, and truck, to the city of Cusco to celebrate with feasting and fun in their traditional costumes. The simple rhyming text and the bright, clear, beautiful unframed acrylic paintings express a strong sense of the rich traditions that are still part of contemporary life, from the clothes and food at the party to the images of the Sun God." — Booklist

Waiting for the Biblioburro

Illustrated by: John Parra
Age Level: 6-9

Meet Ana, a young girl who loves to read. There aren't many books in her small Colombian village, though — until the day Ana meets the Biblioburro, a librarian who brings books through the mountains on the backs of two strong donkeys. Inspired by the heroic efforts of real-life librarian Luis Soriano, this story asks readers, "How far would you go for a book?"

We're Sailing to Galapagos: A Week in the Pacific

Illustrated by: Grazia Restelli
Age Level: 3-6

"A colorfully garbed couple take readers on a jaunty journey to the Galapagos Islands. For each day of the week, the rhymed text introduces one of the islands' unique animals. The repetition of the chorus "We're sailing to Galapagos. I wonder who we'll see" encourages audience participation. The bright collages create striking vistas that will also enhance group sharing. The youngest listeners will enjoy the visit to giant tortoises, black iguanas, and blue-footed boobies before they sail home." — School Library Journal

What Can Fly?

Age Level: 0-3
Language: Spanish

A bird can fly. A plane can fly. What else can fly? Spanish version also available.