Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
Little, Brown & Co., 2010
Endpapers: Lt. blue with 2 x 3ish toybox in the center
Okay -- this one looked stupid, but wasn't. Not at all. It's fun. It's clever. It'll have kids using great higher-order thinking skills like comparing and contrasting. Their synapses will be snapping and their imaginations will be running wild.
The book begins (and ends) with two boys looking for toys to play with, rummaging around in a toybox. It turns into a competition between the two toys they choose, a shark and a train that is comprised of an engine, four cars, and a caboose. Which will do best in a hot air balloon? Which will be best at roasting marshmallows? Who's taller when it comes to shooting baskets, or who will attract more riders at a carnival? Let the competition begin!
Note: The poor shark seems to have a more....evil....look than the more laid-back, nervous train. Such facial expressions on each! There's lot to examine in every picture.
Simple, bold, clear font. Some of the pictures use "talk clouds" to add a small bit of dialogue.
Yes, this is a good one.
Here's Chris Barton's page with all sorts of reviews from his book.