Board Books: Zoom, Vroom and Boom!

It's that time of year: construction time. Roads, bridges, sidewalks.... Whether watching from a stroller or as they walk by themselves, children are about to see a whole bunch of orange reflective material and big machines. Below are some board books that may give them some insight into what they're observing.

ABCcarsJonny Lambert's Construction Site (DK, $12.99) invites children ages 0-3 to explore a construction site. Flaps add action to the board book--allowing the bulldozer to both "RUMBLE! RUMBLE!" along and "SCRAPE!" the rubble into a pile--while also giving pre-readers something physical with which to engage. All of the vehicles shown at work in the book make one more appearance on the end pages, allowing kids one more chance to label them all.

For some very simple vehicle naming, caretakers can turn to Vehicles ABC illustrated by Jannie Ho (Candlewick, $6.99). Also for the pre-reader set, this board book brightly illustrates construction machines like "Bb bulldozer" or "Dd digger" while also introducing children to more fanciful conveyances like "Cc carriage" or "Gg galleon." Vehicles ABC is a great place to start for everything a child might see on the road, in the air or on the water.

Let's Build (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $14.99), illustrated by Zoe Waring, gets kids in on the fun of a construction zone, requesting they knock on their hard hat twice "before we get to work," clap to call the crane's attention or swing the book to get the "wrecking ball moving." With smiling animal drivers and lots of exclamation points, this is a perfect read-aloud or -along for the 4-7 age group.

--Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness