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Shark vs. Train

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  6,050 ratings  ·  525 reviews
Shark VS. Train!

If you think Superman vs. Batman would be an exciting matchup, wait until you see Shark vs. Train. In this hilarious and wacky picture book, Shark and Train egg each other on for one competition after another, including burping, bowling, Ping Pong, piano playing, pie eating, and many more! Who do YOU think will win, Shark or Train?
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,050 ratings  ·  525 reviews

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Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
In this comparative piece that pits a shark against a train, the narrator poses numerous scenarios in which both will come head to head. Sometimes the shark seems to have the upper hand, while there are others that the coal-devouring train cannot be topped. There are others where it seems to be a draw. In the end, the question remains... which is better? Stemming from the premise of two boys playing with toys, Neo was able to see how the shark and train were pitted against one another. He guesse ...more
Aug 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is a super fun read, and would make an especially good "boy book" (I generally don't like labeling books like that, but I know parents and teachers are really on the hunt for books to get their boys into reading and I think this is a great choice!) There's a friendly competition between the shark and the train, and it highlights the fact that we are all have different strengths and weaknesses. The shark and train are in a variety of amusing situations, like playing basketball, being an amus ...more
Mar 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Fun Picture-Books Featuring Imaginative Play
With its amusing tale of competition between a shark and a train - really a toy shark and toy train, wielded by two enthusiastic young boys - this entertaining picture-book captures the joy of imaginary play, particularly the imaginary play of young boys. The ornery shark and cantankerous train try their hand at everything from eating pies to offering rides at a carnival, alternately triumphing over one another, while exchanging sarcastic remarks. Will the train emerge victorious at the end, or ...more
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
Aug 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: young boys; those who appreciate imaginative play; rambunctious kids
Recommended to Lisa (not getting friends updates) by: Kathryn
This wasn’t grabbing me at the beginning but as it went on, I really appreciated the story and the pictures. Two young boys are playing, one with a shark and one with the train. Well, ahem, the shark and the train are relating with one another. Each page is another friendly, and often amusing, competition between them. First one, then the other, does best at a particular activity (in a hot air balloon, roasting marshmallows, trick or treating, going off the high dive, etc. etc. etc.) and then th ...more
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
A classic in the making only made better by being read out loud by a friend.

When two little boys pull a shark and train toy out of their toy box, the ultimate showdown commences. Which one will conquer? Which one will lie and cheat to get ahead? And which one will even be able to survive.

The drama. The intensity. The great sound effects. It can't get any better, folks.
Jan 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: 2-4 grade
Recommended to Jess by: Monarch
Given a certain situation, who would win: shark or train?

The moment they see the cover, kids fall into like with this book. I mean, sharks, right? It looks sweet and it's even kind of funny. BUT, it is terribly awkward and tricky to read aloud. It's a Monarch so I gave it a go with K, 1st, and 2nd and man, not easy.

It's a larger picture book, but the details are small. It's got some funny situations, but many require explanations, especially when you're dealing with kids under 3rd grade. When yo
Jan 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This picture book from the author of the DAY-GLO BROTHERS is one of the funniest I've read in a long time. The premise is simple - two boys pull toys from a toy box and start a battle with them. One has a shark, the other a train, and the result is a hilarious series of competitions in which Shark and Train face off in everything from high-diving to trick-or-treating. Laugh-out-loud text with fun, lively illustrations and a lot of little details in the art that add another layer of humor for mom ...more
Jan 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
One of my preschoolers favorites. They love the idea of pitting a shark against a train, and of course, in their opinion the train would always win, hands down. Going through our hundreds of books trying to get rid of some, but I think this one is a keeper. Great addition to any children's collection. ...more
Michelle Stimpson
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is my two-year-old son's favorite book. He calls it "my book." We read it over and over and over and over and . . . ...more
Are you not Entertained
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: early-readers
It's time to decide the age old battle of... Shark vs. Train??? Sure the train has the advantage on the railroad tracks and the shark is going to do better underwater. But which one wins on a seesaw? Or at basketball? As they struggle to get the upper hand the stakes move from the curious to the silly. Who wins at hide and seek? Trick or Treating? Or in space???

Why it is brilliant: This book helps little readers develop comparative analysis skill in a way that is both fun and engaging. You can b
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shark vs Train in a series of battles of all types. The sound of me and the 4-yr old (yyyyaaaawwwwnnnnnn!)
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it
A book about a competition between a shark and a train. In the beginning the location of the competitions are equally divided between the shark and the train where either is proved to be victorious in that field. For example, there is a pie eating contest that the shark wins because obviously a train does not have a mouth. Then there is a carnival rides competition that the train is the clear winner of. As the book goes on the cards are stacked against them both placing them in situations that n ...more
Jan 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kid-lit
This book was ok, but not really interesting. Mainly about two kids playing with toys and seeing which toy can out do the other.
Rita Crayon Huang
Jan 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant concept. Genius!! This book is a perfect gift for every imaginative three-to-eight year old you know (and that's all of them), by which I mean that you-know-it-when-you-see-it stage that often starts before three and lasts well beyond eight--when kids start randomly pretending they're tigers and panda bears, engaging in contests, liking trains . . . Okay, this book is for everyone. You see a kid, and you can't help but want to give them this book. (That's my favorite Chinese grammar co ...more
Sweet on Books
May 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shark vs. Train is an entertaining tale about what happens when one young boy finds a toy shark in the toy box and another young boy finds a toy train. This begins a battle royale with a series of amusing face-offs. Who will win in the ocean? Shark, of course. Who will win on the railroad tracks? Another predictable one. But the fun begins when author Chris Barton's inquiries start to get more unusual: who will run a better lemonade stand? Apparently Train, because Shark can't compete with a lem ...more
Jul 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens, reviewed
Shark vs. Train surprised me a bit. I really wasn't expecting the kids to really like this book that much, but I was wrong. The text is pretty funny, the pictures are cute and easy for kids to process, and my 3 year old nephew got the concept of this book right away. Both kids were very interested to see who was going to come out on top in this contest between unlikely rivals.

This book is another that is perhaps a little challenging to read out loud, though. There are several conversational "bub
Nov 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Here is why I like and review this book. It was just the comical neutralizer we needed around here, with the boys' continual rivalry and one upmanship between their toys. Who is the best, the fastest, the highest, the most amazing? Who wins?

This book plays with this question by matching up unlikely rivals, the shark and train (and even frames it within two boys picking the two out of the toy box).

Shark vs. Train. Who will win? Well ..... it depends on what the contest is. From sword-fighting, to
Steve Tetreault
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
This SEEMS like a brilliant idea for a kids book, and the cover illustration cracked me up, so I figured it was worth a read.

And it might be worth ONE read. But parents aren't going to want to come back to it more than once, and I'm not sure kids will, either.

The central conceit for how a shark and a train end up battling each other, I thought, clever. But the rest of the book is only so-so. There are a few cute background illustrations, but mostly, this is a short series of oversized pictures
Jun 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-with-jayden
I like this book, which pits a scary shark against a heavy train in a number of silly competitions. The first several times I read this book to my son, I struggled to figure out exactly what to say, especially as many of the pictures invite sound effects and need to be explained to a three-year-old. Now that I've read the book 50 times, though, I appreciate the complexity. Sometimes we spend more time with one picture/competition than the others, and so the experience is different every time I r ...more
Dec 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I heard Alvina Ling speak about this book in 2009, the summer before it came out. You should have heard her say "SHHAAAARRRRRK! versus TRRRAAAIIIIIIN!"

It's a great picture book. It's different, with a clear statement. I loved the spread that is meant to be turned 90 degrees since the action happens vertically across both pages. Well done!
May 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: preschool, k-3, storytime
Shark vs. Train
Dinosaur vs. Bedtime
Duck, Rabbit =
Coming soon to a library near you.
Jun 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Clever and over-the-top silly, a celebration of play.
Jun 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fins-r-us, kidstuff
If professional wrestling were as thrilling as this book, I would never stop watching it.
Caitlin McGrath
Oct 02, 2019 rated it liked it
"Shark vs. Train," by Chris Barton is about two boys playing with a toy shark and a toy train. The shark and the train fight in different areas and complete different activities to see who will win. The shark is better at certain things such as swimming in the ocean, riding in a hot air balloon, and diving. The train is better at other things such as playing basketball, running a lemonade stand, and riding on train tracks. Towards the end of the book, the shark and the train are getting tired of ...more
Leah Grant
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Shark vs Train" by Chris Barton is a comical book that follows a competitive shark and train and their crazy competitions. Both continue to challenge each other in burping, ping pong,, bowling more. Each scenario the reader becomes more amused by the antics of the two friends. Tom Lichtenheld uses watercolors and light colors to for the images. The cartoonish drawing would be enjoyed by elementary aged students. Students will also be captivated by the story line about what the shark and the tra ...more
Ashley B.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This book is about two boys who are playing with a train and a shark. The book takes the reader on a series of scenarios where he/she has to decide if the train or shark would do better. There are some crazy situations like selling lemonade and eating pies. It is fun to think about comparing the two because one is an animal and the other is a machine. This book plays on imagination and how kids should think outside the box and have toys do crazy and incredible things. I like how this book shows ...more
Ellie Hook
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Shark vs. Train" by Chris Barton is an exciting and funny book that can get kids more engaged and excited about reading. The different scenarios in the book are a great way to help students start thinking more creatively. This book would probably be appropriate for Kindergarten-second grade. If I were reading this book to a second grade class, I would have them write a story coming up with their own scenario for the shark and train to fight and have them decide who would win. The word bubbles i ...more
Ailsa Graham
Nov 19, 2019 rated it liked it
"Shark vs. Train" by Chris Barton is a humorous picture book of a battle between a great white shark and a steam train. The book reveals that there is no obvious winner as a shark is successful in water and sports that involve water, but the train is successful in times when rides are given or when a loud sound or weight is tested. The illustrations were comic-like and involved speech text from the train and the shark, as well as text from the narrator. There are introductions of each character ...more
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kevin Bottom
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a book that even made the adult in me laugh. The book is centered around a shark and a train battling throughout the book. The illustrations help the comedy shown in the book very well. I think this book would be great for younger children and I especially think it will appeal to male students. The book does an excellent job of blending in funny text with the interesting illustrations to make an exciting read.
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I'm the author of picture books including bestseller Shark vs. Train, Sibert Honor-winning The Day-Glo Brothers, and Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions, which was included on 21 state reading lists.

My newest books include Fire Truck vs. Dragon, All of a Sudden and Forever: Help and Healing After the Oklahoma City Bombing, What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? The Story of

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