Shark vs. Train

Here’s the book review I teased you about last week! Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton was the other book I picked up at the Scholastic book fair at Ball State about a year and a half ago. I picked it up because it screamed BOY to me.

shark, train, Chris Barton, Tom LichtenheldIn the opening pages, two boys pull their toys of choice out of the toybox, and the figures they choose are unrelated in the extreme, except for the images of masculine power they symbolize.

Being boys, they immediately get into a tussle over which would beat the other one in a fight. When I thought about it, I wasn’t thrilled that this is how I’m teaching my son to play through reading this book, but the situations the characters use to decide the winner are very imaginative and really pretty humorous, when you get right down to it.

They don’t use guns, swords or other weapons; there aren’t any fistfights; and no one is killed. Really, the competition is just that…figuring out who is better at certain things. The message isn’t to be competitive though; actually, it helps young readers understand that we all have our strengths, even though they are different from one person to the next.

The drawings in Shark vs. Train are beautiful and intense, and the reader’s imagination is stimulated by all the different situations Barton puts the Shark and the Train in (as the adult reader, I found myself laughing at many of them, such as the train on the tightrope). Activity sheets can be found at the author’s website if your child wants more of Shark vs. Train.

This book deserves 4 snacks:

Snacks, Gerber


2 thoughts on “Shark vs. Train

  1. Thank you for your thoughtful review of our book. I love it when parents find value in silliness and am proud to have earned 4 Snacks (which Shark and Train are fighting over as we speak.)

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