When Titus Took The Train by Anne Cottringer and Sarah McIntyre
|When Titus Took The Train by Anne Cottringer and Sarah McIntyre|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath|
|Summary: Take a rip-roaring adventure, a clever twist, and a unique illustrative style, and you've got a real treat on your hands. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: October 2010|
|Publisher: OUP Oxford|
|External links: Author's website|
Titus is going on a train journey all by himself. His mum and dad have given him his lunch, books and games, and seen him off at the station. The guard will keep an eye on him on the journey, and Uncle Henry will meet him at the other end. Nothing could possibly go wrong. ...Unless, of course, the train is attacked by bandits, chased by a Tyrannosaurus rex, has a boulder hurtling towards it, and then won't stop as it's approaching the station. Luckily, our Titus is a little bit of a hero.
What a super picture book! It's packed with excitement and plot by the bucketload. The emergencies, in case you were worried, are just in Titus' imagination - he's writing an alternative version of his trip in his notebook. This twist is clearly illustrated, but doesn't feature in the text itself. It's a great choice, which places the right amount of trust in the young audience, draws them in to the joke, and doesn't sell itself short by spelling it out too obviously. Even if the youngest book fans don't quite get it, the action-packed adventure will still thrill them. The writing is crisp and engaging, with intriguing vocabulary to interest everyone.
As wonderful as the writing is, it's Sarah McIntyre's illustrations that are the real star of the show. It's a unique style that immediately grabs your attention - the station, the city, the train whizzing through canyons, all have characteristics and charm that cry out to be pored over. The action scenes bring to mind some elements of a comic strip or graphic novel, but not just a disposable comic - it sells the action and perfectly supports the text. Throw in the drawings that Titus himself did, and the overall beautiful design, and you've got a real treat of a book on your hands.
Young train fans will have a wonderful time losing themselves in the wonder of Titus' journey. Anyone interested in a rip-roaring adventure will also have a whale of a time. The sophisticated twist (and, of course, exceptional quality) extends the age range to slightly older kids, without leaving the youngest behind. Oh, and it's brilliant fun to boot. Highly recommended.
My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.
More trains, you say? Big Blue Train by Julia Jarman and Adrian Reynolds, The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg and Oliver Who Travelled Far and Wide by Mara Bergman and Nick Maland it is then. A sophisticated idea that places trust in its young audience? This Is My Book by Mick Inkpen and Limelight Larry by Leigh Hodgkinson are both super. Gorgeous illustrations? Three By The Sea by Mini Grey is an absolute joy.
You can read more book reviews or buy When Titus Took The Train by Anne Cottringer and Sarah McIntyre at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy When Titus Took The Train by Anne Cottringer and Sarah McIntyre at Amazon.com.
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