Books : Our New Classics

One of the things I looked forward to as I dreamt about having kids one day was reading with them. I love reading. I loved being read to as a kid and I loved sharing stories with my students when I was an elementary school teacher. I find books to be entertaining, soothing, intriguing, diverting and rewarding.

I love baby showers that suggest a book instead of a card and I always love to gift a book or two when it’s a child’s birthday. (Or an adult’s!)

Rad’s book collection is steadily growing and I am so thankful for everyone who has thoughtfully added to that collection.

We own a ton of the classics – how can you not stock “Pete the Cat,” “Little Blue Truck” and “Knuffle Bunny?”

But, I have also come across a handful of new series and singles that Rad and I absolutely adore and come back to on a near daily basis. We think you should totally check them out.

1. “Boats Go,” “Diggers Go,” “Trains Go,” “Planes Go,” “Trucks Go,” and “Cars Go” 

Authored by Steve Light

Published by Chronicle Books


Let all inhibitions go and get your best machinery-sound mimicking on.

I enjoy picturing each machine’s sound in my mind – Light did such a great job capturing them – and so it becomes quite easy to sound like a helicopter or a garbage truck. Which is precisely what each page of these books offers – the sounds of different modes of transportation.

Things get pretty theatrical when we read these. And, how can it not when the jackhammer goes, “Grrrrrakka kkakkakkakkakka akkakkakakk akkakak akk …!”

We stumbled across our first read of the series (“Boats Go”) at the library when Rad was still pretty tiny and we were both instantly hooked. He points to them daily and these days he makes connections with these books and the outside world. (At my parents house there were two bulldozers down the street when we were there for our visit and we had to walk to down to see them often. And then we would come home and he would reach for the “Diggers Go” book!)

The illustrations are bright, chunky and realistic. And as I mentioned above, the sound descriptions are spot-on.

These are an absolute blast to read. I can’t wait for the next one in the series. (Maybe Motorcycles Go? I don’t know! What other types of transportation has Light not covered?!)

2. TouchThinkLearn Series

Authored by Xavier Deneux

Published by Chronicle Books



I keep these on a low shelf (I keep many of R’s books on a high-up shelf so things don’t get insane in his bedroom!!) because they are another of Rad’s go-tos. He loves to pull them down and look through them. The books are artistic in how each approaches its subject, offering layers of learning and showing and understanding, as any good book does.

We own “Numbers,” “Colors,” “Shapes” and “Opposites.”

So, the shape of a diamond is a kite held by a small child with the kite part in relief, while on the opposite page the shape is indented as one pin on a pinwheel. The reliefs and indents of each shape on every page offer layers of bumps and edges for your little ones fingers to trace along. And each illustration is brimming with color.

Your baby touches. Thinks. And learns.

The sweetest books and so beautifully made.

3. Old MacDonald Had a Truck

Authored by Steve Goetz

Published by Chronicle Books

I came across this one in a book store and thought, Oh, that looks cute. I kept it on my radar for a while until it was time to buy another book, knowing Rad would get a real kick out of it. He loves diggers and trucks so much – he gets so thrilled every time he sees one – and this version of the classic song turned story shows Old MacDonald’s farm chock-full of awesome construction machinery. It’s such a lively book to read (“E-I-E-I-Wooaah!”) and each page is crowded with layers of pictures and underlying storylines. (And Mrs. McDonald is quite the star of the show, might I add.)

The whole book is sung at full volume every time. The only way to do it.

Chronicle Books

Each of the above books – and, this is simply by coincidence, I hadn’t sought out only this publishing company’s books for today’s post – is published by Chronicle Books. I have enjoyed purchasing Chronicle Books for quite a few years now and in particular the kids selections – they are always valuable additions to our bookshelves. (I also love and own plenty of the company’s cookbooks!) I have not been disappointed and I know that I won’t be when choosing from this publisher. A tip? Shop directly from the website and sign up for the company’s newsletter – there are some great sales throughout the year. And, shipping is free on orders over $25. Thank you Chronicle Books for sharing some beautifully inspiring stories with us.

Happy reading,


K & R

Rad Reading


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