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Transport and Travel Topic

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Transport and Journeys Topic Booklist

Toot toot! Beep beep! All Aboard! From buses and bicycles to ferries and flying machines, zoom into the topic with our hand-picked selection of the best children’s books about transport and journeys…

Books about cars, buses and trucks

John Birningham
This classic picture book, by the popular author John Birningham, is a story about sharing and helping others. The simple storyline follows a repeated structure and is accompanied by detailed illustrations. A great read for younger classes.
Jan and Jerry Oke
This is a photo book that has become very popular in Early Years and KS1! It follows the story of a boy's adventures with his toy bus, told through the voice of the bus itself. If you are looking for something a little bit different for your topic, we highly recommend this one!
Mike Smith
This is a really fun story popular with reception and KS1 classes. When the bus driver takes a different route one day, there are too many passengers to fit on the bus and the only solution is to add more and more decks. There is also a big fold-out page at the end showing the enormous bus.
Michelle Robinson
 & Jez Tuya
From Lollies Award-winning Michelle Robinson comes this busy story based on the tongue-twister, bursting with trucks, doggie drivers and colour! Red Lorry and Yellow Lorry must get to the construction site, but they have a snow-drift, a breakdown and a speeding tractor to contend with along the way... Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry: which one would you drive? Jam-packed with lorries, trucks, cars, motorbikes and all kinds of vehicles!

Books about trains

Benedict Blathwayt
When Duffy Driver leaves the brakes off, the Little Red Train sets off down the track without him! Duffy tries everything he can think of to catch up with the train, with a little help from a tractor, some horses, a boat and a helicopter! An enjoyable story to read over and over again.
Emily Rand
A little girl and her mummy are visiting Grandpa on the train. It's very busy - hold on tight! But when they arrive at their destination something is wrong . . . teddy has gone missing. Just when it looks like she'll never see Teddy again, Grandpa has an idea! And suddenly the little girl is off on a magical journey to rescue her teddy. Have you ever wondered where your lost objects go? With charming and stylish illustrations, this books is perfect for curious minds.

Books about bikes

Quentin Blake
A hilarious story telling the tale of Mrs Armitage and her dog, Breakspear. Instead of enjoying a simple bicycle ride, the eccentric Mrs Armitage is constantly looking for ways of upgrading her bike. Soon it barely resembles a bicycle at all! A big hit with KS1.
Alison Farrell
A wonderful celebration of bicycles of all kinds! Etta the Elephant is taking a trip to her Aunt Ellen's house and passes through bicycle-filled Cycle City, filled with bikes of all shapes and sizes, and then gets to witness a brilliant bicycle parade. This is an engaging picture book with so many details to spot in the illustrations and a very good stimulus for generating discussion and descriptive writing.

Books about planes and rockets

Ken Wilson-Max

Astrid has loved space ever since she can remember and wants to be an astronaut when she grows up. Even when her dad gently reminds her of the challenges ahead (eating food out of a tube, getting used to near-zero gravity, sleeping on her own amongst the stars), she is confident – “I can do that!”

This is a story full of tenderness and adventure, with a lovely surprise ending when Astrid and Dad go to pick up Mum from the airbase – where has she been?

This gentle picture book with distinctive earthy illustrations is a lovely read-aloud for Reception/Year 1 with a wonderful inclusive message at its heart, supported by the mini fact-files about female and BAME astronauts at the end.

Katie Haworth
 & Daniel Rieley
Emma Jane takes a journey around the world in her aeroplane. She flies past impressive cities like Paris, Venice and New York, taking in the sites from above. But when her plane gets into trouble, can her animal friends find a way to help? The illustrations are highly appealing, the fun rhyming text is great for joining in with and it is important to see female pilots like Emma Jane represented in children's stories.

Books about journeys

Martin Howard
 & Christopher Corr
A World Full of Journeys tells some of the most fascinating stories of migration throughout history. From the very first humans who left Africa almost 70,000 years ago and moved around the world, to immigrants welcomed to America at Ellis Island, this book is packed with fascinating tales of human triumph. Beautifully illustrated with bright pictures and maps detailing these ' journeys bring these stories to life. This is a detailed anthology that can be dipped into be classes learning about journeys and is perfect for readers who want to explore the fascinating stories of the people who have crossed the world.
Matt de la Pena
 & Christian Robinson
Winner of numerous awards, this picture book follows CJ and his grandmother as they make a bus journey across town. As they chat about what is important in life, the pair take in the truly diverse city scape, encountering a multitude of passengers and passers-by of all demographics. The story of the journey and the striking illustrations come together to positively depict a world wherein cultural divisions and segregation can find no place to land and difference is celebrated for its enriching cultural effect.
Aaron Becker
A beautiful, award-winning wordless picture book. It follows the journey of a young girl who draws a magic door in her bedroom and travels through fantasy worlds by boat, balloon and magic carpet. Highly recommended for pupils across the whole primary range.
Oliver Jeffers
This is the endearing story of a boy and the journey he undertakes to return a lost penguin back to its home. This simple story with beautiful illustrations has also been made into an animated movie.

Transport and Travel: Non-Fiction Books

Emily Bone
 & Daniel Taylor
A stunning atlas with 15 beautifully illustrated maps for children to pore over. Young explorers can discover the countries, continents, oceans, mountains and ice caps of our amazing planet and learn where different animals and people live. There are fascinating facts about each country, plus flags and capital cities and an index of place names.
Moira Butterfield
 & Bryony Clarkson
A vibrant celebration of things that go, with a lively text from author Moira Butterfield and pictures from debut-talent Bryony Clarkson. Come and hitch a ride in vehicles of every shape and size - from family cars to double-decker buses, chugging tractors to speedy supercars, and gigantic monster-trucks to noisy fire engines. With bounce-along rhythms and fascinating facts from author Moira Butterfield, and bright, lively pictures by rising star Bryony Clarkson, any single reading of My Big Book of Transport is sure to result in a victory lap or two!

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