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20+ Books Every Preschool Boy Needs On Their Shelf

Before we begin… Yes, I know that these are not just books for preschool boys and that girls would likely enjoy these family favorites too. I just happen to have three boys, they love checking out the books on this list, and I want to share them with you! 

Boys are movers and shakers and seem to come wired with a love for wheels that roll, objects that fly, and balls that bounce. So your at-home library is stocked with the classics: Little Blue Truck; Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site; B Is for Bulldozer: A Construction ABC, maybe The Little Airplane.  If you are ready to step outside your bookshelf without breaking your Amazon Prime budget, consider your local library. We have found some that we check out over and over again, and the three boys under our roof give these books 6 thumbs up!

20+ Books for Preschool Boys | Houston Moms Blog

>>> HUMOR <<<

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs: As Retold by Mo Willems by Mo Willems

Wait a second… Dinosaurs? Yes. In this hilarious spin on the classic, Willems crafts a story that even Mom and Dad will love reading again and again before bed. Leave those three bears for a bit, and find out what happens when three dinosaurs {and their dinosaur cousin from Norway!} come across a wandering little girl. {And while you are hanging out with Mr. Willems be sure to check out an Elephant and Piggie book or too. These guys are hilarious!}

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

Taco Tuesday lovers, it turns out that you aren’t alone — dragons also love tacos! But beware, serve up this tasty treat the wrong way {with spicy salsa!}, and you’ve got some serious trouble on your hands.

Chicks and Salsa by Aaron Reynolds

If you not only love tacos, but find yourself in dire need of the salsa/queso/guacamole trifecta at least once a week, this barnyard tale will have your family cracking up. When the animals get tired of the same old feed, they hatch a plan for a fiesta with all of the fixings you’d expect on Tex-Mex night at your local restaurant.

The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli

When a crocodile swallows a watermelon seed, his biggest fears come to life in a funny tale that resonates so well with kids and their own worries about this summertime treat.

If You Give a Dog a Donut by Laura Numeroff

With Numeroff’s classic “If you give…” tradition, this book takes donut-loving kids on a fun adventure with the pup who, of course, needs one more thing as the book progresses. I love the rhythm and repetition and the fact that after a couple of times, our preschooler is “reading” the book to me.

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

From balls to stomp rockets, our boys get stuff stuck in the trees, and they sympathize with Floyd when his kite gets stuck in the tree. Several absurd items thrown up later in attempts to retrieve it, Floyd’s creativity will have you all laughing.


>>> EMOTIONAL <<<

Little Smudge by Lionel Le Neouanic

This book is such a powerful lesson in embracing differences, accepting others for who they are, and overcoming rejection. While that sounds like quite a bit for preschoolers, the story is told through very relatable shapes who have different personalities. When Little Smudge is rejected by the geometrical shapes, he asserts himself with kindness and a display of his own gifts to show the other shapes just how we can all get along.

Hug Machine by Scott Campbell

This feel-good story follows a boy who will wrap his arms around anything! He eats pizza to keep his “hugging energy high” and saves one of the best hugs for last when his energy is almost tapped out.  I appreciate the tenderness of this book in contrast to the loud and often active boy tendencies.


>>> THINGS THAT GO <<<

Whoosh and Chug by Sebastien Braun

Any train-loving preschooler will love this tale. Whoosh {a speedy and rather arrogant passenger train} finds himself in danger because he didn’t heed warnings, and it’s up to Chug {the hard-working, steady freight train} to help him before it’s too late.

Digger Man by Andrea Zimmerman

Along with Train Man and Fire Engine Man, Zimmerman plays on boys’ fascination with vehicles and highlights the relationship between brothers along the way. In Digger Man, an older brother’s excitement for construction vehicles guides his imagination to owning his own digger for scooping and pushing through the mud to create a playground for him and his brother.

Truck Party by Tammi Salzano

This board book is geared for the young ones, but all of my boys have been drawn to it as toddlers. Each truck has a special job to do to get ready for a surprise truck party, and the brightly colored pages draw readers in as they await the mystery guest.

My Truck is Stuck! by Kevin Lewis

Rhymes and rhythm guide readers as they follow the story of a stuck truck who just can’t go. Larger and larger trucks try to help pull it out, but after counting their way throughout, readers find that it’s the humorous tow truck who gets the job done.

Mighty Truck by Chris Barton

Clarence is merely a rundown, rusty old truck until he gets struck by lightning at the carwash and finds himself suddenly a shiny, “really, wheely powerful” truck. He uses his powers to help others, yet still find himself up for donuts {and not the tasty variety} at the end of the book.

Where is my T-R-U-C-K? by Karen Beaumont

We all know the suffering kids {and their parents!} go through when losing their favorite toys! Tommy has lost his T-R-U-C-K, and nothing his family offers is as good as that special red truck. His search efforts do pay off, and kids will cheer right along with him when he’s reunited with it!


>>> FAMILY FAVORITES <<<

Bedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late by Laura Overdeck

My oldest is definitely drawn to math and science and loves emulating his engineer dad. Bedtime Math includes fun riddles, stories, and questions on three different levels that even our toddler can get in on the learning. When we check this book out from the library, it not only accompanies us at bedtime, but also finds its place at breakfast and over lunch. Its quick, stand-alone stories make it a fun way to sneak in learning.

Elmer by David McKee

You could really file this one under “humor,” but it’s definitely a family favorite. Elmer, the brightly-colored, practical-joke-playing elephant tries to fit in with the normal, gray elephants, and when it doesn’t work, he realizes just how special he is and how his gifts lift up those around him. This is the first of a series of books, and we’ve found ourselves reserving as many as we can.

The Grufflalo by Julia Donaldson

An imaginative mouse invents a story about a “Gruffalo” to outsmart his predators, but soon finds himself face to face with the “Grufflalo” monster and must trick him as well. Kids fall in love with the tiny hero’s journey told through repetition and rhyme. Be sure to check out the story on Netflix after you’ve read it a time or two.

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

I’ve written about this book before. Each crayon pens a letter to his/her owner Duncan expressing grievances and asking for allowances. It’s funny, memorable, and a great family read!

Tap Tap Bang Bang by Emma Garcia

In an action-packed book, readers experiment with creating the sounds that tools make as they turn pages to find out what all of these tools could be making.


>>> SUPERHEROES & SURPRISES <<<

SuperHero ABC by Bob McLeod

Heroes from A to Z are introduced with colorful illustrations and lots of funny moments as well. There’s learning going on as letter sounds are emphasized on every page, but honestly it’s just a lot of fun!

Superhero Joe by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman

Joe’s parents are in “danger,” and there’s only one person who can save them. Have no fear; Superhero Joe is here! But he wasn’t always so brave. As readers follow along Joe’s adventures, they can see how they, too, can overcome fears with the right “armor” and a bit of confidence. For kids who love creativity and dress-up, Superhero Joe is sure to be a hit!

Hello, Red Fox by Eric Carle

There’s so much to love about this very visual tale of Little Frog’s birthday. Preschoolers see the “magic” of colorful optical illusions, and older kids can learn a bit about art theory as they read and explore.

Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley

This book is clever in its design and fun for kids to challenge that big green monster, admitting, “You don’t scare me!” Kids are in charge as they flip through the pages and cause the monster’s scary features to disappear. It’s a useful read for kids with common monster fears as well!

The Book Ate My Dog by Richard Byrne

Bella’s dog disappears into the pages of the book, and she soon finds her help disappearing into its pages as well. With help from readers, and a laugh or two along the way, Bella is able to get her dog back. The boys love being active participants in this fun story.


You might be in the middle of a summer reading program, prepping for kindergarten, or just looking to add to your regular “boy book” rotation. Head to your local library and scour the shelves for some of our favorites, or heck, reserve them online first and pick up when convenient for you!

Am I missing any? What other books do your preschool boys love? 

2 Responses to 20+ Books Every Preschool Boy Needs On Their Shelf

  1. Chris Barton August 19, 2016 at 6:04 am #

    Thanks for featuring Mighty Truck, Jenn! I’ll be signing copies of that one and other new books of mine (and reading some, too) at Blue Willow Bookshop on September 14 — I’d love to meet your family and your readers. I’ve got more info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/688414697979807/

    • Jenn L
      Jenn L August 29, 2016 at 2:47 pm #

      That’s fantastic! We would love to meet you and check out your new books as well. See you on the 14th!

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