Books for three little boys?
June 20, 2012 1:21 PM   Subscribe

I need recommendations for books to give my nephews for their 2nd, 4th, and 6th respective birthdays!

I'm going to be seeing all four of my (bio) nephews in a couple of weeks, and three of them have birthdays in June/July. We're planning to join the whole family for a beach-vacation weekend soon, and I want to bring birthday gifts for the June/July birthday-kids to the beach-weekend gathering. (The December-birthday nephew is only 6 months, so he won't feel left out.)

Both my sisters have suggested books for the kids, and I need some book suggestions! I live in Portland and have Powells access, so as long as recommendations are not crazy-rare I should be able to get them.
Turning-6 boy who likes cars (race cars, fast cars, which car has the most horsepower)
Just-turned-4 boy who likes music (has a guitar) and sports (especially ball-based, like baseball & basketball)
Just-turned-2 boy who likes trains (including Thomas)
posted by Kpele to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Just-turned-2 boy who likes trains (including Thomas)

Our almost-2-year-old loves Freight Train, Train Song, and Here Comes the Train.

We also spend a lot of time looking at Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things That Go, which features some detailed drawings of trains and train stations that he might like.

Possibly helpful, from the MeFi blog - posts on book recommendations for kids, by category.
posted by ryanshepard at 1:42 PM on June 20, 2012

Just turned 2 - I have to second Richard Scarry. There's also the classic "Little Engine that Could". Just don't buy any Thomas books. The morals are rubbish. "Thomas, you've been such a good engine go have your boiler cleaned." Or, as Mr. Coffeespoons says "You've been a good worker today, go have some health care." That age also loves Curious George.

Just turned 4 - browse in the level 1 or level 2 readers. They have basic stories/text and words that are just the right level for a 4yo and are usually shaped like this. I looked for sports books for that age recently on Amazon and came up blank.

Almost 6 - this age loves facts. I don't have any recommendations, though surely Powell's will have some great "facts about racecars" books.
posted by Measured Out my Life in Coffeespoons at 2:47 PM on June 20, 2012

"The Little Train" by Lois Lenski is the book you want for the two year-old. It's a classic, utterly charming, and my kid routinely forces my wife and I to reenact scenes from the book -- I am Fireman Shorty and she's Engineer Small and our kid is the conductor and seriously, just get the book.
posted by incessant at 3:07 PM on June 20, 2012

All of them might enjoy The Monster at the end of this Book.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:25 PM on June 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Hm - thinking about the books for the 6 yr old... My oldest is now 7, and he's been enjoying junior graphic novels for the past couple of years. We visit a local comic shop to get our fix, but some of his favorites are Missile Mouse, Ratchet and Clank, and Super Hero Squad (junior Avengers). He's got a couple of friends who are serious Magic Tree House fans, but O hasn't been interested in those yet.

He also loves, loves, LOVES non-fiction books. The New Way Things Work, the LEGO Ideas book, Usborne see-inside books, just about anything age-appropriate from DK.

Richard Scarry is great for the 4 yr old - my kids can sit and look at those books for hours. We read Cars & Trucks & Things That Go a bajillion times. I think it's fun to look for new picture books for this age - something fresh that mom and dad can add to the bedtime story rotation. We just read Dragons Love Tacos last night (cute), and as soon as it's ready to check out we'll read The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.

For littles like the toddler, try a couple of books that are really tactile. Touch and feel books, flaps that lift, windows that slide open, animals that move, even wheels set into the book -- all good choices.
posted by hms71 at 8:14 PM on June 20, 2012

For car books take a look at Torque Books: World's Fastest collection. You can preview them over at Big Universe (which is a great site for exploring kids books).
posted by zinon at 6:30 AM on June 21, 2012

Monkey Truck is a great read-aloud.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:57 PM on June 21, 2012

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