Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Planes and Trains and Roars: Let's Hear it for the Boys!

The due date of my daughter's second boy is drawing closer; and right now for her two and a half-year-old firstborn son, it's all about anything that zooms, stomps, or roars: planes, trains, trucks, elephants, lions and dinosaurs!

My grandson's current favorite things include his new airplane riding toy (complete with working propeller - though he's a little bummed it doesn't really fly) and Disney's Jungle Book movie.

So I scored at a local bookstore the other day when I found one of Lois Lenski's "Mr. Small" books, The Little Airplane (read my past posts here about these sweet books and their author).

I also spotted and picked up a "Baby Lit" books, Little Master Kipling:  The Jungle Book. My grandson loves to "roar" like a tiger and trumpet like an elephant, but I have to be careful not to roar too loudly when we get to the page with "Sher Khan", the Tiger, or he gets a little too scared.

The Baby Lit board books are so cute, but they are aimed just as much (if not more) at literature-loving-adults then at kids.  I mean, seriously: Anna Karenina?? Wuthering Heights??  for children?

We like Little Master Conan Doyle: Sherlock Holmes (read my past post here) and Little Master Carol: Alice in Wonderland.  Another, Little Master Baum: The Wizard of Oz looks super adorable - can't wait to get that one; and I'm guessing my grandson would like Little Master Melville: Moby-Dick.

On to trains:  Thomas the Tank. All. The. Way.  I'm referring to the "old school" Thomas, not the new, strange looking (in my opinion) CGI "Thomas and Friends".  If you haven't read my past post about the wonderful Rev. W. Awdry (Thomas' creator) and his original books, go here.

Currently, my grandson is obsessed with cabooses in particular...

His latest favorite from the library is C is for Caboose: Riding the Rails from A to Z by Traci N. Todd.  Any child who loves trains and is ready for "a-b-c books" will enjoy this picture book, uniquely illustrated with a mix of vintage drawings and modern photos!

He also likes the Caldecott honor book, Freight Train by Donald Crews...

 and the Little Golden Book The Little Red Caboose.

Maybe her love of travel and my grandson's love of trains inspired my daughter to set up this cute little changing area for her soon-to-be born little boy, with all the supplies organized and ready-at-hand in an old vintage suitcase!

All Aboard!  Click the links below to go to my previous posts with some fun toddler and preschool book recommendations:

Hope you'll check out some of the books we love.  What are (or were) your little boy's favorites?
UPDATE:  Have to add in my grandson's newest favorite!  Have you heard of Supertruck?  Go here.


  1. I love Lois Lenski! Another great train book is Virginia Lee Burton's Choo Choo, about a runaway train. Really sweet. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh, we love VLB's "Little House" - we'll have to get "Choo Choo"!! Thanks for the recommendation. :)

    2. Love the little series by Lois Lenski. We have several. When one of my boys was a toddler, he learned all of the parts of the train. One day, he went into the kitchen, placed a metal mixing bowl on his head, and declared it a "steam dooome!" It was sooo funny! It is still an inside joke in our family.

  2. Awesome list of books for boys!! My son loves planes, trains, automobiles and ANIMALS... He is currently looking for all things animals :) We have been reading a new story that I would like to recommend. His grandmother purchased it for him after hearing about it from a friend and it has quickly become a new favorite. It is called “The Little Brown Animal” written by DiMari Bailey (http://www.dimaribailey.com/). This book is so lovingly written and beautifully illustrated. The lessons contained within are powerful and have the potential to last a lifetime. We need more books like this in circulation for our kids, it doesn't feel like a cookie cutter copy but instead has its own powerful voice. Although “you are special, love yourself” is an age old theme, this book manages to make it fresh and teaches it to children in a unique and whimsical way. A must own for parents and kids. Hope your family will check it out :)