Monday, November 22, 2010

Great imaginative play for boys (two picture book, ages 4 - 8)

Do you have a little guy who plays with trains, planes, and action heroes? I love picture books that celebrate boys' imaginative play. One of our favorites is Traction Man Is Here! by Mini Grey. If you have a little guy who loves to play with action figure, two others to check out are: Shark vs. Train and Captain Sky Blue. They would be great to read aloud with action figures acting out the different parts!
Shark vs. Train
Shark vs. Trainby Chris Barton
illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
NY: Little, Brown, 2010
ages 4 - 8
available on Amazon and at your local library
There's no doubt - little boys love to crash things into one another. And they love to have contests. This story is pretty simple - you have a shark, you have a train, and they compete to see which one will win in an increasingly crazy set of contests. Sometime it's the train (burping is definitely a plus), but sometimes it's the shark (diving off the high-dive). The art is at once simple enough for preschoolers and silly enough for kindergartners and 1st graders. This book is a definite winner, no matter who comes out on top! Shark vs. Train leads off the Publisher Weekly's 2010 Best Children's Books, and the School Library Journal's Best Picture Books for 2010.

Captain Sky BlueCaptain Sky Blue
by Richard Egielski
NY: Michael di Capua Books, 2010
ages 4 – 8
available on Amazon and at your local library
On Christmas morning, Jack opens his presents to find a toy pilot action figure, Captain Sky Blue, and an airplane kit. Soon, Jack’s out flying every day with his new toys. But one day, lightning strikes Captain Sky Blue’s plane and he gets blown far off course. This story starts with Christmas morning, and then takes little kids on a rollicking adventure into the belly of a whale, the ocean deep and finally back to Santa’s workshop the next year. The illustrations are full of action, color and details which kids will look at again and again. It will be especially fun for kids who love airplanes and pilot lingo. Some will find this “pilot talk”, with its glossary in the beginning of the book, a bit much. But my hunch is that some kids will get a real kick out of it. Best of all, this story is a way to celebrate little boy’s creative play with their own toys and help their imaginations soar.

The review copy of Shark vs. Train came from my local library. The review copy of Captain Sky Blue was kindly sent by the publisher. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this page, a small portion will go to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you). Thank you for your support.

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