"I'm going to choo-choo you up and spit you out." / "HA! I'm going to fin-ish you, mackerel-breath."
Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld; LB Kids (April 2010); ISBN 9780316007627; 40 pages;
Book Source: Copy from local library
You know that toy box full of toys in your home? Buried deep within you might just find two rivals ready for some friendly competition - shark and train. At least that's the case in a new picture book by Chris Barton called Shark Vs. Train. Two kids rummage through their toy box and bring out a toy shark and a toy train that face off in various silly competitions. Who rules the ocean? How about the tracks? The card game, "Go Fish?" OK, those scenarios are fairly easy to call. But who would prevail in a game of hide-and-seek or a burping contest? You'll need to read the book to learn the outcome of those match-ups. Lichtenheld's comical illustrations, complete with snarky narratives in word balloons, portray the hilarious expressions of both the shark and train at moments of glory and defeat. The caboose even makes a few funny comments. It's so very clever, you'll need to page through it multiple times to catch all the humor.
My kids quickly searched their toy box for a shark figure and a train right after reading the book and played out their own shark vs. train scenarios. The battle became quite heated at one point and one shark attack left the train derailed. (I quickly reminded the competitors that even though they may have ornery and cantankerous dispositions, the book shows mainly friendly, non-contact sports.) Shark: 1 ; Train: 0. A strange result considering both my kids wanted the train to win in the book. That's imaginative play at its best, prompted by a creative and fun book. I wonder which of our toys will tangle next?
Chris Barton - Author Website
Tom Lichtenheld - Illustrator Website
Blue Rose Girls: Beyond the Book
Downloadable Shark Vs. Train poster and activity sheets [pdf]
Shark Vs. Train Activity Guide
Want more children's shark activities, projects, crafts?
National Geographic Coloring Pages (includes a few sharks)
Enchanted Learning - Sharks
SeaWorld - Shark Teacher's Guide
Make Your Own Dorsal Fin
Robert Sabuda Shark Pop up Card
Highlights for Children Snapping Shark
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