Early Elementary Books

Theme: Transportation and Travel

Galimoto - (ISBN: 978-0688109912)

by Karen Lynn Williams

What’s a “galimoto”? African children make their own toys out of scraps from here and there, and Kondo is no exception. He creates his own version of a push toy with wheels (a galimoto) after cajoling and begging to get materials from various adults. His creativity shows both in how he gets the materials and how he uses them! Try making your own push toys from things around the house.

Mr. Gumpy’s Outing - (ISBN: 978-0805038545)

by John Burningham

Mr. Gumpy’s idea of a nice, relaxing day in his rowboat sounds good to a number of his friends. Soon the boat is overflowing with creatures of all types. What do you think happens when one creature too many boards the watercraft?

The Adventures of Taxi Dog - (ISBN: 978-0140566659)

by Debra and Sal Barracca

A formerly homeless, stray dog is amazed by his great luck to be riding along on a taxi driver’s adventures. Great illustrations make this a very compelling read. Have you ever ridden in a taxi?

The Polar Express - (ISBN: 978-0395389492)

by Chris Van Allsburg

Every child’s dream to accompany Santa on his trip around the world on Christmas Eve comes true when the merry man drops in to pick up the young hero of this tale. Enjoy the story and the marvelous illustrations of this classic. For yummy recipes and other fun activities related to this book, be sure to take a look at the theme activities.

Will It Float or Sink? - (ISBN: 978-0516237374)

by Melissa Stewart

Early readers can learn about basic properties of objects in this non-fiction investigation of objects. The pages are filled with photos of real children and their experiments with various things that resemble boats. . . or not. Try your own experiments. What materials work best for boat making?

Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang - (ISBN: 978-0141384382)

by Ian Fleming

Have Fries, Will Travel - (ISBN: 978-0865715493)

by Linda Hempel

Mr. Gumpy’s Motor Car - (ISBN: 978-0690007992)

by John Burningham

My Little Yellow Taxi - (ISBN: 0152164650)

by Stephen T. Johnson

Never Ride Your Elephant to School - (ISBN: 978-0805028805)

by Doug Johnson

Train to Somewhere - (ISBN: 978-0618040315)

by Eve Bunting

Where Go the Boats? - (ISBN: 978-0152017118)

by Robert Louis Stevenson

Activities for this Theme

Read an online story about children taking a camel ride.


Try recipes and activities from this Polar Express Party Kit


Try a simple origami craft.


Compare the book Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang to the movie.