[This is the latest in an occasional series by Beth Melo, a Southborough mom who loves to read to her kids. In this installment, Beth shares recommendations that will grab the attention of the little boys in your family. This post was originally published on the Southborough Library website, and has been reposted here with permission. For more of Beth’s book recommendations, click here.]
Forget “Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails”. The truth is little boys are made of dinosaurs, sharks, dragons, knights, pirates, monsters and every kind of driving machine. They are drawn to what goes fast, makes loud noises, is huge, seems dangerous, or, preferably, all of the above.
When my daughter was little, I thought she had similar interests to boys. She enjoyed dinosaur and car books, etc. Then my son came along and taught me what love of dinosaurs and cars really looks like. My last article was for the princess in the house. This article is in honor of the boy we lovingly call “the Monster” in our house.
When I started to compile a list of all the books I like in this broad category, it was far too long. So I’m just going to cover highlights. I hope to follow up in the future with more specific articles to really do this topic justice.
Authors for all things Boys
- Kate McMullen – I Stink, I’m Dirty, I’m Mighty, I’m Fast, I’m Bad, and I’m Big. From garbage trucks to dinosaurs, these fun books are right up a little boy’s alley. The first two throw in some education to boot – alphabet and counting.
- Patricia Hubbel – Titles like Trains: Steaming! Pulling! Huffing! say it all. Topics are covered superficially, but in fun rhyming verse with entertaining illustrations. Our favorites are Trains, Cars, and Trucks. We also like Police and Firefighters which give a simple overview of these everyday heroes. I’m looking forward to reading Horses, Boats, and Airplanes (though the last two need to be requested through the interlibrary loan system).
- For toddlers – Paul Stickland’s Dinosaur Roar! and Ten Little Dinosaurs
- For preschoolers –Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld’s Terrible Tyrannosaurs and Dinosaur Babies
- A fun look at dino bones is Inside-Outside Dinosaurs by Roxie Munroe
Machines that Move
- Authors that celebrate all kinds of vehicles boys love– Diane Seibert wrote Train Song, Plane Song, Truck Song, and Motorcycle Song (the last is available through interlibrary loan) and Donald Crews wrote Flying, Harbor, Sail Away, Freight Train, and School Bus
- Construction books – Roadwork by Sally Sutton examines how a road is built and describes the giant noisy trucks boys love. Digger Man by Andrea Griffing Zimmerman features a boy who imagines having his own digger.
- For all kinds of cars including the imaginary – Cars Galore by Peter Stein is a fun book about all kinds of cars. With the ridiculous, imaginary varieties, it’s more about language than cars. Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go is also fun. My son’s favorite part is finding where Goldbug is hiding on each page.
- I am not a fan of Thomas but I do like some train books. Good ones in order of age appropriateness – And the Train Goes by William Bee, I’m Taking a Trip on My Train by Shirley Neitzel, and Jingle the Brass by Patricia Newman.
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak is a classic for a reason. Before I had my son, wild Max alienated me. But looking at it through his eyes, I now see the splendor of the wild imaginings (and how it’s possible for a mother to love a boy even on his wildest day).
- Dragon books that show what life would be like for a boy who has his own fiery friend –Me and My Dragon by David Biedrzycki and When A Dragon Moves In by Jodi Moore.
- Pirate books that focus on the fun side of imaginary pirates — Pirate Pete’s Talk Like a Pirate by Kim Kennedy and How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long.
If you’ve read this far, books are clearly important to you and your family. So, I’m extending a request on behalf of The Friends of the Southborough Library. As you may have seen in articles elsewhere, this 40 year old institution is in need of support. They need new active members and leaders to help carry the torch. I hope you will consider joining me in my efforts to revitalize this important organization.
As for my book recommendations – if you have any questions for me, feel free to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any additional suggestions for other parents, you can post a comment below.