When the PBS kids’ show, “Dinosaur Train” debuted, a dear (and hilarious) friend of mine quipped that the producers just sat down in a room and mashed together two words that would immediately appeal to little boys and then made a show out of it. Having now watched Dinosaur Train ad nauseum, I think it also has to do with the fact that they had an entire episode on poop. I was reminded of that same concept of the little boy title mash-up when I came across Chris Barton’s “Shark vs. Train.” I mean, really? A shark versus a train? What little guy could resist that just based on the title alone?! Imagine how pleasantly surprised I was to read this original and clever book and find that , despite its WWF-esque title, it is WONDERFUL. Shark and Train are pitted against each other in a variety of battles: high diving, burping…the only one where neither wins is the video game competition since, as Train says, “sure would help if we had thumbs.” The book is fast-paced and hilarious and each subsequent battle is funnier than the last. This is my new favorite little boy read..
If you haven’t seen it already, Barton’s The Day-Glo Brothers is equally excellent. Love this author!