Introduced in Traction Man Is Here!Grey's much-lauded superhero is back, and his firm, square jaw shows no signs of weakening. But something's gone terribly wrong: after a dramatic climb to the top of Mt. Compost Heap, Traction Man's faithful pet, Scrubbing Brush, has disappeared (Mom and Dad-how could you?). Rescuing Scrubbing Brush will take everything Traction Man's got-as well as the help of the annoying robot Turbodog, a trio of naked fashion dolls and a big bottle of household cleaner called Germo. Grey's prose, a clever mélange of overwrought and ironic, is a joy to read aloud ("Traction Man squirts the Bin-Things with Germo and they hiss and wither"). But her real gift is in transforming an ordinary household into both thrilling stage and supporting cast (who knew an old mascara wand could be so emotive?). To create a fantasy world is one thing, but to trigger a gestalt shift in the way kids look at their own environments is quite another. A keeper. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Traction Man Meets TurboDogby Mini Grey
THAT SQUARE-JAWED CAN-DO action toy, Traction Man, is back in another hilarious adventure. The little boy, Traction Man, and his brave pet, Scrubbing Brush, are inseparable—until the boy’s father throws the “unhygenic” Scrubbing Brush in the trash and replaces it with a “real” toy, the battery-operated TurboDog. It bleeps, speaks
THAT SQUARE-JAWED CAN-DO action toy, Traction Man, is back in another hilarious adventure. The little boy, Traction Man, and his brave pet, Scrubbing Brush, are inseparable—until the boy’s father throws the “unhygenic” Scrubbing Brush in the trash and replaces it with a “real” toy, the battery-operated TurboDog. It bleeps, speaks, and squeaks—but is not very smart. So Traction Man, wearing his airtight Astro-suit and armed with a bottle of SuperStrong Germo, enters the trash bin and rescues Scrubbing Brush from the Evil Bin Things (pizza crusts, spaghetti, and potato peels with eyes and mouths that hiss “Stay with us”). The Battle of the Bin is not to be missed—nor is the ignominious demise of TurboDog! With this satisfying sequel, Mini Grey has scored another smashing victory for imaginative play.
The ruggedly handsome action figure introduced in Traction Man Is Here! (Knopf, 2005) has returned, accompanied by his faithful pet, Scrubbing Brush. In high-energy, mixed-media panels and full-bleed spreads, the hero and his sidekick ascend a compost heap and pass through the "ring of Mystic Shrooms," directed by a Yoda-like potato: "Bow low you must." On their return to civilization, Scrubbing Brush is sucked into the muddy quagmire near the backyard pond. While the dynamic duo's owner is resting, his father does what well-meaning parents do-replaces the filthy brush with the shiny new plastic Turbodog. Soon enough boy and man tire of the flashing wannabe pet. Hearing cries from the "Underworld of the [Trash] Bin," Traction Man dons his Astro-Suit and arms himself with a spray bottle of SuperStrong Germo. After a successful mission and a good, long soak, all of the characters share a candlelit campfire, complete with marshmallows, courtesy of Dad. Grey is clearly in tune with the fun to be had with an alter ego and a pile of dirt, a mountain of laundry, and the "Grand Sofa Canyon." Her inventive scenes celebrate the joy in equipping a doll for adventure and re-envisioning the everyday. The perspectives shift in order to give readers a bird's-eye view of the boy and the terrain of his yard or close-ups of the imagined world. Brimming with tongue-in-cheek humor, delicious language, and ideas sure to propel viewers to their toy boxes, Grey proves that one doesn't need batteries to have a rollicking good time.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
"[Grey's] inventive scenes celebrate the joy in equipping a doll for adventure and re-envisioning the everyday."
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, August 4, 2008:
"[Grey's] real gift is in transforming an ordinary household into both thrilling stage and supporting cast."
Starred Review, The Horn Book Magazine, September/October 2008:
"Grey extends the first book's irreverent wit and affection for her characters in this playful demonstration of why high-tech doesn't necessarily equal high-performance."
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2008:
"Hilarious details lurk throughout, and readers won't want to miss even one."
Starred Review, Booklist, September 1, 2008:
"Created with wit and finesse, this picture book is fun for reading aloud and rewarding on many levels."
Starred Review, The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, October 2008:
"Readers will revel in [Traction Man's] triumph over both adult misunderstanding and nefarious opposition."
Meet the Author
Mini Grey studied art, worked as a theater designer, and taught elementary school before devoting full-time to writing and illustrating children’s books. Her Traction Man Is Here! won many stars and honors, including The Boston Globe–Horn Book Best Picture Book Award, and her The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon received the 2007 Kate Greenaway Medal. She lives in Oxford, England.
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