Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton

Title: Shark vs. Train
Author(s): Chris Barton, Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
Reading Level/Genre: Children's Picturebook
Hardcover:40 pages
ISBN: 9780316007627
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers(April 1, 2010)

A while back I was lucky enough to attend an event here in town where the author read the book, talked about the creation process, and even shared some of the rejected illustrations. It was a funny story and I have to say I loved it! It's totally the kind of book I would have begged to have read to me over and over as a small child. For some reason I've always loved trains and to read about one that competes with a shark just makes good kid sense,LOL. 

Basically two boys pick toys to play with: one picks a shark and one picks a train. And of course, being little boys, the ordinary act becomes a competition to see who is better. Is it Shark or is it Train? 

Train can win a lemonade sale. But Shark can get the most Halloween candy. Both can do some things the other can't, and both can't do some things very well that the other can. But the fun is the challenge, and in imagining all the silly ways a shark and a train can compete with each other. They learn that while everybody has their strengths and their weaknesses, it matters what you make of it. It's a great book, especially for boys!


  1. This one is on one of our Readers Choice lists this year and I can't wait to read it to my students. It's such a fun book and I hope they enjoy it. :)

  2. They will! It's fun to watch the kids get drawn into it, and somehow the shark vs train captures their attention. This book made me realize how much I dont think like a kid anymore lol. I never would have come up with this idea now but as a kid it was exactly the kind of contest we'd invent all the time. I think that's what I liked so much:D