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Traction Man Is Here!

Traction Man Is Here!

4.8 5
by Mini Grey

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Traction Man—wearing combat boots, battle pants, and his warfare shirt—comes in a box, but very quickly finds the way into the imagination of his lucky boy owner. This superhero searches for the Lost Wreck of the Sieve as the boy makes a game of doing the dishes, and later in the bathtub, he conquers the Mysterious Toes that are stealing his pet, the brave


Traction Man—wearing combat boots, battle pants, and his warfare shirt—comes in a box, but very quickly finds the way into the imagination of his lucky boy owner. This superhero searches for the Lost Wreck of the Sieve as the boy makes a game of doing the dishes, and later in the bathtub, he conquers the Mysterious Toes that are stealing his pet, the brave little Scrubbing Brush. These are just a few of the action-packed adventures played out by the boy and his new toy that may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but can vanquish all manner of villains lurking around the house. Mini Grey’s story in words and pictures is an irresistible invitation to the private world of a child’s play.

Praise for The Very Smart Pea and the Princess-to-Be:

“A rib-tickling U.S. debut for Grey, with plenty of sight gags to complement the chatty narrative.”—Kirkus Reviews

The Very Smart Pea and the Princess-to-Be delivers an entertaining spin and a great deal of visual wit.”—The Horn Book

Editorial Reviews

Meet Traction Man, an action figure who takes young readers on an uproarious adventure within a little boy's imagination. In a dazzling intersection of the real and imagined, the toy teams up with his owner to wash dishes, for example: "Traction Man is diving in the foamy waters of the Sink...He is searching for the Lost Wreck of the Sieve." Our hero must escape the clutches of a jellyfish-shaped "Poisonous Dishcloth" and other treacherous household items. Grey's view of the world from a 5-year-old boy's perspective is dead-on, and the snappy, comic-book-style illustrations are a hoot. (ages 4 to 6)
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2005
Publishers Weekly
A cluttered house, lovingly rendered in comic-book panels by Grey (The Very Smart Pea and the Princess-to-Be), provides a perilous landscape for the titular square-jawed action figure. Readers infer Traction Man's origins from a "Dear Santa" letter on the title page ("I expect you know about what happened to my old Traction Man and the Terrible Parachute Accident") and a gift-box on a sleeping boy's bed. The new Traction Man, replete with special outfits, soon meets trouble in a flowerbed and among dirty dishes: "Traction Man is diving in the foamy waters of the Sink (wearing his Sub-Aqua Suit....) Oh, no! This Poisonous Dishcloth will envelop Traction Man and suffocate him!" Pursued by the glaring, squidlike Dishcloth, Traction Man is pulled to safety by a "brave little Scrubbing Brush," portrayed as a doglike sidekick with bristles for feet. Brown-paper thought balloons with italic type indicate the real-time story line; "I think it's someone's bathtime..." signals the hero's encounter with the Mysterious Toes, which he tickles into submission. Artful watercolor panels alternate with full-page compositions, and the keyed-up narrative is printed on torn graph-paper scraps for a casual, homemade effect. Grey sets the events on a damp English Christmas, but the holiday takes the back seat to the boy's implied stage-managing of Traction Man and transformation of ordinary objects. Will Traction Man rescue the quivering Cupcake from the villainous Doctor Sock? Stay tuned. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
A new Traction Man action toy is a young boy's request from Santa. On Christmas morning there he is, complete with combat boots, battle pants, etc. Traction Man immediately zooms into action in his "Jet-Powered Sneaker," setting the toy farm animals free from the Evil Pillows. He then volunteers for a special mission, diving through "the foamy waters of the Sink" for the Lost Wreck of the Sieve, being saved from harm by his new pet, Scrubbing Brush. The vivid imagination of his owner, and the author, takes him on other exciting and dangerous missions, all relating to ordinary-looking household objects. Tongue remains in smiling cheek as he saves his pet from the Mysterious Toes in the bath tub. His mettle is severely tested by Granny's most inappropriate gift, a green knitted romper suit and matching bonnet. But that leads to Traction Man's final great successful adventure. Detailed scenes are filled with child-imagined wiggly things in the sink, or a backyard dirt pile with half-buried dolls, or a tea table with cakes and sandwiches. The action-packed watercolor scenes, reminiscent at times of comic book hero art, have the text on pieces of paper integrated with the frenetic events or floating by them. At the end, Traction Man and Scrubbing Brush are ready for "Anything," even the shark-toothed scissors menacing nearby. 2005, Alfred A Knopf/Random House Children's Books, Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-This imaginative and very funny romp through the fantasy play of a young boy features his newly acquired action figure. Square-jawed and equipped with combat boots, scuba gear, space suit, and camouflage, Traction Man overcomes evil pillows, dastardly brooms, a poisonous dishcloth, and a wicked spade. But he and his little scrub-brush pet seem to be no match for Granny, who presents the action figure with a nerdy knitted green romper suit and bonnet. The evil-doers laugh at his silly get-up until Scrubbing Brush unravels the yarn to help Traction Man save a clutch of hapless spoons and he is once more the heroic figure. The angular, full-color art sweeps across the pages and perfectly animates the antics of Traction Man and his enemies. Grey has a way of exactly catching the nuances of a child's ability to turn even the most common object into a friend or looming foe in the never-ending battle between good and evil. This fresh, funny hero and Grey's celebration of a child's imagination definitely have traction.-Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha's Public Library, WI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Traction Man is ready for anything-but can he overcome the gift of an all-in-one knitted green romper suit with matching bonnet? Traction Man is most definitely an action figure, NOT a doll: His accessories include a sub-aqua suit, a space suit, a warfare shirt and a deep-sea diving suit. As narrated by the little boy who receives him for Christmas, his life is one adventure after another, but Granny's gift of the odious all-in-one knitted green romper suit with matching bonnet is almost too much for this doughty hero, until faithful companion Scrubbing Brush leads him to an ingenious solution. The intentionally overwrought voice-over is just exactly right, as are the comic-book style panels and the impossibly square-jawed hero. Occasional full-bleed spreads place Traction Man in his context with his owner (and parental admonishments occasionally and appropriately intrude), but for the most part, he and Scrubbing Brush are allowed the liberty to develop fully in their own right, their owner's imagination giving them all the life their readers will want. An absolutely, hilariously, dead-on perfect celebration of the relationship between child and toy. (Picture book. 5-8)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Traction Man Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.50(d)
AD730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

MINI GREY is the creator of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award-winning picture book Traction Man Is Here! and its sequel, Traction Man Meets Turbodog. The books received five and six starred reviews, respectively. Quirky, off-the-wall humor can also be seen in Three by the Sea, The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon, Ginger Bear, and Jim, Who Ran Away from His Nurse and Was Eaten by a Lion.

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Traction Man Is Here 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Being the librarian in an elementary school it is rare that I find a book that tickles the funny bone of an entire school population. Traction Man did, it was an unconditional hit. K-3 just plain loved the humor. Fourth and fifth graders thought it was much like a comic book in the presentation but hung onto every word of the read aloud. In the end the author dedicates the book to her older brother. This information provoked a lively discussion about the antics of our siblings. I am sure many notes were jotted in writing journals this week! I've gotten emails from parents and already have the students asking for it to be read aloud again. I am going to buy five more copies for the library, I cannot keep it on the shelf.
Rach-a-roo More than 1 year ago
My 4-year old and 6-year old LOVE Traction Man and his adventures. Great way to remind kids that you don't need all kinds of store-bought accessories or follow a story-line from a tv show to really have a great time with your toys.
ScarlatoA More than 1 year ago
My son fell in love with the traction man series and it's a keeper for our library collection.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago