Titus sets off on a train journey to see his Uncle Henry... and what an adventure he has! As the story unfolds, readers will wonder whether Titus's adventures are real or the result of his amazing imagination. With his sketchbook on his lap, he sits patiently in his seat, but his mind is seeking inspiration from all around. There are clues in some pictures as to where Titus is getting his ideas from: the man with the huge moustache snoozing on the train looks a lot like one of the bandits; the snapping ticket punch could be the jaws of a dinosaur...
Perhaps, I love this story so much because it reminds me of the way my mind worked as a child (and, some might say, still does!) and the imagination adventures my son and I had when he was young. Children love to create those larger than life stories and should be encouraged to do so!
Quite apart from being an excellent read with fabulous illustrations, there is so much that could be done with this story in the classroom. As well as inspiring story writing, the text lends itself to other writing opportunities and the quality of vocabulary offers the chance to explore unfamiliar words. The pictures can't fail to awaken the artist in everyone and children could easily make some short films/ animations based around their work.
There is a lovely CBeebies story time reading of the book with pictures and sound effects. Sarah McIntyre has also created a fantastic 'Titus' game which you can download from her website http://www.jabberworks.co.uk/when-titus-took-the-train/
The game is great fun as I found out when I held a library session based on 'Titus' a couple of years ago and had 50 or so Year 1 and 2 children playing it (with some Year 6 support!)
I suggest you find out what happened 'When Titus Took the Train' as soon as possible! Happy reading!
When Titus Took the Train by Anne Cottringer and Sarah McIntyre
OUP ISBN: 978-0192729880