Subscribe to The Horn Book

Things that stop and go

Need a break from that perennial favorite Cars and Trucks and Things That Go? These four new transportation-themed picture books for preschoolers combine well-paced texts, dynamic illustrations, and entertaining stories — the perfect companion for daytime journeys and journeys into night.

barton_my busByron Barton‘s My Bus (companion to My Car; Greenwillow, 2–4 years) takes readers along with Joe as he drives Bus #123 across a bold-hued landscape. “At my first stop, one dog gets on my bus. / At my second stop, two cats get on my bus.” After four stops, there are five dogs and five cats onboard. And then…Joe drops off his passengers in ones and twos at a boat, a train, and a plane; the last dog (“My dog!”) goes home with Joe in a car. Each stop offers more excitement for young motorheads (as well as some subtly introduced math concepts). (Greenwillow, 2–4 years)

bee_and the cars go“Here is the traffic, all ground to a halt, / and the policeman calls out… / ‘What’s causing this holdup? / Move along, now. Move along!'” The vehicles may be at a standstill in William Bee’s And the Cars Go…, but the rhythmic text motors along as the officer investigates the problem. Each double-page spread features a fancifully detailed auto and its idiosyncratic occupants; Bee’s stylish compositions with eye-popping colors have a distinctly sixties vibe. The predictably patterned, onomatopoeic verses encourage audience participation. (Candlewick, 3–6 years)

harper_go go go stopCharise Mericle Harper’s quirky Go! Go! Go! Stop! stars two traffic lights and a fleet of construction vehicles. Little Green shouts “GO!”, and Bulldozer, Dump Truck, Mixer, and friends get to work. But without a way to not go, things threaten to spiral out of control. Then a red “stranger” rolls onto the site, and disaster is averted — eventually. Harper’s action-packed illustrations feature cheerful trucks in colorful cartoonlike scenes. Lively dialogue adds to the storytime fun. (Knopf, 3–6 years)

biggs_everything goes by seaEverything Goes: By Sea is the latest in Brian Biggs’s transportation-themed series. Henry and his parents (the intrepid travelers from Everything Goes: On Land and Everything Goes: In the Air) ride a car ferry to their island destination; along the way, they talk about the variety of boats on the water and the jobs those vessels do. There’s a brief (and helpful) explanation of buoyancy, along with some accessible history and a little science/engineering. The pleasingly busy cartoon illustrations are packed with details and visual jokes. Biggs navigates this nautical lesson with a steady hand. (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, 3–7 years)

From the March 2014 issue of Notes from the Horn Book.

About Kitty Flynn

Kitty Flynn is consulting editor for The Horn Book, Inc.

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind