January 21, 2011

Book Talk: Shark Vs Train

I can never judge a book by the review or by how many stars it gets... I judge a book by the reaction I get when I read it to a class of kids!  Today I read Shark Vs Train by Chris Barton (E BAR), and judging by the reaction I got, this book is a winner!  In this book a shark and a train do battle.  Mano y mano- who would win?  A shark or a train?  Ahhh... not so fast!  It depends where the battle happens.  Sure, under the sea, the shark would reign supreme, but on the tracks, the train comes out on top.  Obvious.  Now, what if they battle by roasting marshmallows? (No brainer- train all the way!  Have you ever tried to roast marshmallows in the ocean?)  What if they battle on the high dive?  (Shark, of course!)  There are, however, battles that end in a draw: nobody wins at a video game showdown, because you can't play video games without thumbs! (If you've read this book, you know that the shark and train are really toys, and the battles are playing out in the minds of 2 young boys).
This is a very clever book that really begs for audience participation.  My only problem is that the kids in the back row don't get to enjoy the small details.  This book would be better with a large group if I would have used the ELMO projector and put it on the big screen.  This is a great book for teaching setting with kids, and it would spark some great story starters during writer's workshop. Visit Mr. Barton's site for downloads to go along with the book here and vote for who YOU think would win in a true battle of Shark vs Train here!  (I voted for Shark!)

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