Sep 17, 2011

Shark vs. Train

I am the mother of a four-year old boy. Without any intent on my part, in the last year he has become more and more boyish. The boy who used to love hugging his Diego doll and cooking on his play kitchen has become much more likely to be holding dinosaurs, Thomas or cars toys, or jumping out of the bath to chomp on mama's leg in a shark imitation. Let's not forget about the soccer obsession. He still loves Pinkalicious, but sometimes I want to indulge his boyish charm with something that will tickle his fancy.

Shark VS. Train (CAN, JP, US), written by Chris Barton and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld is the ultimate book for preschool boys. Sharks! And trains! How can you go wrong?

But it's not just the sharks and trains that make it awesome. Nor is it the fact that the kids put away their toys when they are called by their mom (okay, that's pretty awesome.) I love that it is disguised learning. First there was Marco Polo, which is a game I've seen on tv but never actually played until we read this book.

Then my kids learned about omparisons! Not just "who is taller than Sally?" but you actually have to figure out from the pictures who wins and why. This is doing wonders for my littles' vocabulary, as they are racing each other (yay for competition increasing English skills!) to say that the lemonade is going to spill into the ocean or the train is too heavy. It's a participatory book!

Two more cool things beyond the actual book:

1. A trailer for a book that does not involve very bad acting by Fabio wannabes:

2. The publisher has provided downloadable activities. Our fave is the maze, as both kids can do it to varying degrees of success.

Usually when I shop at Amazon, I put books in my basket and keep them for a couple of weeks. Then I have something I need urgently, and end up buying everything in my basket that is available immediately. Those books that take 2-4 weeks, or a couple of months, get put back on my wishlist. This book took 3 weeks to arrive, but it was worth the wait. That's high praise indeed.


  1. That looks like a great book, I have to start buying again. Our Alex was never interested in books, tried reading etc when she was smaller but she in turns chewed, ripped and pretty much annihilated the books I had for her. She is still pretty much the same now although Kinder has instilled a sense of decorum when looking at books..there still might be hope ;)
    ps..thanks for commenting over on mine :)

  2. Yeah, I think my son would love this as well. I'll have to look out for it.


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