Shark Vs. Train Cover Image

illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

A New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestseller and finalist for the 2011 Children's Choice Book Awards

Named one of the best children's books of the year by:

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"I'm going to choo-choo you up and spit you out."

"Ha! I'm going to fin-ish you, mackerel-breath."

Who will win? Well, that depends...

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32 pages
Ages 4-8
Little Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 978-0316007627


Reviews & Honors

Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards (Pennsylvania School Libraries Association)
2011-2012 Kindergarten-Grade 3 Winner

The Children's Literature Association of Utah Beehive Award
2012 Picture Book Winner

Colorado Children's Book Award
2012 Winner, Picture Book

Illinois School Library Media Association
2012 Monarch Award Winner

The Buckeye Children's Book Award
2011 Winner, Grades K-2

Association of Indiana School Library Educators
2012-13 Winner, Young Hoosier Book Award - Picture Book

Children's Choice Award for the State of Mississippi
2013 Nominee, Magnolia Award - Grades K-2

2011 Kiddo Award Editorial Pick - Illustrated Book

Writers' League of Texas Book Award
2011 Finalist, Children's Books

North Carolina Children's Book Award
2012 Nominee, Picture Books

Wyoming Library Association Buckaroo Book Award
2011-12 Nominee

Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC)
CCBC Choices 2011

Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards (Cybils)
2010 Finalist - Fiction Picture Books

Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)
2011 Nominee - Notable Children's Books

Texas Library Association
2011 2x2 Reading List

Chicago Public Library
Best of the Best 2011

Librarians' Choices
2010 Master List

Parents' Choice
Silver Honor

The Christian Science Monitor
Irresistible... The rollicking energy and joy of this book will be familiar to anyone who ever played with boys.

Los Angeles Times
For rambunctious boys, you can't do better than Shark vs. Train.

The Washington Post
[N]ot to be missed.

Kirkus Reviews
*Starred Review* Lichtenheld's snarling shark and grimacing train are definitely ready for a fight, and his scenarios gleefully play up the absurdity. The combatants' expressions are priceless when they lose. A glum train in smoky dejection, or a bewildered, crestfallen shark? It's hard to choose; both are winners.

Publishers Weekly
*Starred Review* This is a genius concept ... Just when readers will think the scenarios can't get more absurd, the book moves into even funnier territory. ... Lichtenheld's watercolor cartoons have a fluidity and goofy intensity that recalls Mad magazine, while Barton gives the characters snappy dialogue throughout.

School Library Journal
*Starred Review* [I]maginative and very funny... The cleverly chosen contests reflect the imaginative powers of kids while retaining the consistent logic that's also essential to play. ... Energetic cartoon illustrations take full advantage of the visual possibilities. ... This inspired pairing, executed with ingenuity and packed with action and humor, is a sure winner.

ALA Booklist
Barton's imaginative and wacky scenarios are knocked home by Lichtenheld's ferociously funny artwork and will leave kids measuring up their dump truck and T-Rex for the next tale of the tape.

The Horn Book
Barton's deadpan text -- sparked with dialogue balloons that give the characters both personality and one-liners -- is matched by Lichtenheld's spot-on visual humor.

100 Scope Notes - Top 20 Children's Books of 2010
Shark Vs. Train mimics how kids really play, immersing the reader in a world where this sort of contest could actually happen. And what a beautiful world that is.

AARP Online Extra: Books for Grandparents
[A]s funny as it is absurd.

American Booksellers Association/IndieBound
Kids' Indie Next List, Summer 2010

Anita Silvey's Children's Book-A-Day Almanac
Perfect for two- through eight-year-olds, the book ... shows a profound understanding of childhood imaginative play and creates a lot of laughs when read aloud. Funny, original, exciting, Shark vs. Train demonstrates that the picture book format still has endless possibilities.

Austin American-Statesman
[F]ull of wit and mayhem.

Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX
Complete boy fun.

Tom Lichtenheld's comic illustrations are delivered with broad, over-the-top humor and subtle nudges which will delight the book's audience of kids and kids of a "certain age." ... A sly and canny wit underpins the project. ... The story is a celebration of children and imaginative play.

Carol's Corner
[T]his is a book kids are going to ask for again and again.

the excelsior file
For those looking to study picture books, who want a good example of word and picture interaction, Shark vs. Train makes a solid study. ... It's true to play, to boys, to the notion of competition, the absurdity of childhood thinking, and does so in under 125 words.

Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA
Shark Vs. Train just hit our shelves today and instantly became my new favorite!

Junior Library Guild
The contests between Shark and Train are hilarious, especially as they grow more ridiculous.

Kate Messner (Author, The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z)
Laugh-out-loud text with fun, lively illustrations and a lot of little details in the art that add another layer of humor for moms and dads reading aloud. Loved it!

Letter Blocks: The BN Parents and Educators Blog
Everything about Shark Vs. Train rings true -- from the choice of toys to the zany competition and logic applied to each wacky what-if scenario.

The Miss Rumphius Effect
If you teach writing, this is a mentor text you MUST HAVE.

Pamela Price
As a parent, I'm hooked. ... Reading to a child is fun, but it turns exciting when an author and illustrator ... create a work that explodes the adult reader's expectation of what a children's book 'should' be.

Pink Me
[S]uper-silly, brilliantly fun ... Funny and sweet, great for storytime.

Politics and Prose Bookstore & Coffeeshop, Washington, DC
Powered by the boys' imaginations, Shark and Train battle in midair, in the ocean, and suspended over bottomless chasms. ... Chris Barton's story and Tom Lichtenheld's hideously funny illustrations will leave everyone laughing.

Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, NC
Take two behemoths of a kid's world ... and pit them together in ever crazier, bizarre contests. Adults and kids alike will be howling with laughter, no matter whose side you're rooting for.

Read On Wisconsin!
September 2010 Selection, Primary (Grades K-2)

RiverRun Bookstore, Portsmouth, NH
Perfect for 5-7 year old rambunctious boys and girls, you can use this book to spur imaginative face-offs between all kinds of toys. Fun!

The Sacramento Bee
Illustrator Tom Lichtenheld earns a standing ovation for his hilarious artwork of exaggerated faces. Barton hits a bull's-eye for young boys.

San Francisco Book Review
[T]o the pantheon of truly epic rivalries, Chris Barton proudly introduces two new worthy combatants ... Tom Lichtenheld's illustrations are marvelously simple, offering funny little background details for the sharp-eyed reader while never detracting from the main imagery.

[G]reat for riotous reading fun ... This is the book I'm giving to all the preschool through first grade boys in my life this year, and I'm confident that they will L-O-V-E it.

Sue Corbett (Author and reviewer of books for People magazine, Publishers Weekly, and the Miami Herald)
Gosh, this book is THE book I would give as a gift to a young boy right now. It's as good as Mini Grey's Traction Man...

Waking Brain Cells
Get this book into the hands of children as quickly as you can!

WORD bookstore, Brooklyn, NY
This is technically a children's book, but we won't tell if you buy it for yourself.


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