Monday, May 4, 2015

Shark vs Train
By Chris Barton
Illustrated by Tom Lichenheld

The competitive action, the personification of a shark and train and the aggressive yet playful behavior of the main characters will hook young boys, for sure!

Book Talk
Shark vs. Train is a fun book that will delight the students.  Two boys start the story by running to a toy box and pulling out a play shark and the engine part of an electric train and start a verbal (friendly) confrontation between the two toys.  Suggestions are made by the boys about which toy would be stronger—the shark or the train—in different situations..under the ocean, at the carnival, on a seesaw, in hot-air balloons—to name just a few!  Each suggestion seems to get more outrageous and ‘bigger’ than the suggestion before it.

The text is large and there is only one or two sentences per page.  But the shark and train often have speech bubbles and their competitive conversation to each other is silly and hilarious at times.

There is a lot of action going on in the illustrations and they carry a lot of the story. It might be a good idea to use this with a document camera to bring it onto your white board for full appreciate of the text in the speech bubbles.

Suggested Uses as a Mentor Text:
Book Genre: Fantasy (Boys will love this)
Reading Workshop strategies: Predicting, Inferring
Writing Workshop genre: Opinion Writing
Curricular Themes: Toys

Chris Barton website:

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