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Traction Man Is Here! (Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards (Awards)) Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 12, 2005


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards (Awards)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; 2nd Print edition (April 12, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375831916
  • ASIN: B002LITSI4
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 8.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,161,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 2. Opening a present on Christmas morning, a boy finds the latest Traction Man action figure, who takes on an adventurous life of his own: diving into the soapy, underwater world of the kitchen sink; escaping the "Poisonous Dishcloth"; and adopting a "brave little scrubbing brush" as his pet. Later, Granny gives Traction Man a present: a hand-knitted green suit, complete with tie-on knit cap. Despite his obvious humiliation, Traction Man undertakes another rescue mission and triumphs once again. Though children's toys have come to life in many picture books, they are more typically soft toys and the stories usually veer toward sentimentality rather than adventure. Brightened with colorful washes and replete with patterns, the detailed illustrations show Traction Man in action, sometimes stiffly doll-like, sometimes more expressive and human, but always worth watching. Setting up the child as the creator of Traction Man's secondary world and dramatizing his narrative play, Grey portrays with precision and wit the sort of inventive thinking that toys can inspire in children. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Mini Grey was given her name after being born in a Mini in a car park in Newport, Wales. She studied for an MA in Sequential Illustration at Brighton under the tutelage of John Vernon Lord. Mini also worked as a primary school teacher in Oxford, where she now lives.

Her books include Egg Drop, The Pea and the Princess (shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal), Biscuit Bear (winner of the Nestlé Children's Book Prize Gold Award), Traction Man is Here (winner of the Boston Horn Book Award and shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal), The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon (winner of the Nestlé Children's Book Prize Bronze Award and winner of the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal), and Traction Man meets Turbodog. Mini Grey is one of the Big Picture's ten Best New Illustrators.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 42 customer reviews
The story is very cute and the illustrations are gorgeous.
Mae F.
The first night that I read this book to my son, he had to cover the pictures so that I could stop laughing long enough to finish reading it.
D. Blankenship
This is a fantastic, fun, imaginative children's book that me and my husband love to read to our child.
Princess Bookworm

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on October 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
It's funny, but I think we can say that the picture-book-superhero-genre is still in its infancy. There's, "Kapow", of course and "The Adventures of Sparrowboy", but these are stories of ordinary kids being super. Far more difficult, in a way, is a story about an action figure. Now there is no lack of stories where toys take on a life of their own when their owners aren't around. With, "Traction Man Is Here", however, author Mini Grey turns this conceit on its head. The hero of this book may be an action figure like Buzz Lightyear (though he's an entirely different type of toy) but any adventures you read about in this book are from the head of the boy moving Traction Man about. You may not see the kids' hands and Traction Man may appear to move on his own accord, but there is little doubt who the real brains behind the operation is. It makes, oddly enough, for thrilling reading.

A boy writes a note to Santa requesting another Traction Man since his old one was involved in what is simply referred to as, "the Terrible Parachute Accident". Santa may not be aware of the boy's request, but his parents are certainly on the ball because Christmas Day brings a brand new bright and shiny Traction Man (complete with Dazzle-Painted Battler Pants). Thus begin our hero's adventures. Each time he appears, his new outfit is lovingly described (as in the sentence, "Traction Man is crawling through the overgrown shrubbery near the Pond, wearing Jungle Pants, Camouflage Vest and Sweaty Bandanna"). This is all well and good up until the moment the family goes to knit-crazy Granny's. Traction Man receives an all-in-one knitted green romper suit and matches bonnet. It's adorable and completely inappropriate for his line of work.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Theodore Bush on January 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I opened this book in the 'store, flipped to a page and saw an action figure standing on the table (a no-no in my house) before a plate.

The text read, "Traction man is guarding some toast." Then I noted that the toast had eyes and mouth set in somewhat querulous look. I laughed aloud and raced to buy this.

My 3.5 year old carried this about for days, after.

Traction man is original, clever, snarky (read the label on the hoopos that become his medal at the end of the book) and gentle. It's exquisite. Buy several copies, you'll be handing it out at birthday parties for years.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anne B. Levy on June 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This spoof of superhero comics and their ubiquitous action figures is so darn funny it's impossible to get through a first reading without pausing to hold your ribs. But it has a Shrek problem: its best lines zoom straight over kids' heads and target Mom and Dad.

This is welcome news if you're weary of countless nights re-reading Pooh or Seuss ad nauseum. But it's tough to explain to a toddler why the sight of a foot-tall plastic toy diving in a sink for the Lost Wreck of the Sieve provokes such snorts and guffaws.

Traction Man's a Christmas gift to an unnamed boy, whose imagination turns him loose on unsuspecting household objects. But both meet their match with Granny, who knits the doll a puke-green coverall that fairly screams "dork." Picture the matching bonnet and it's easy to summon similar mortifying moments from your own childhood.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Reading is my hobby on February 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Traction Man by Mini Grey is one of the most inventive picture books I've come across, one that celebrates the fantastic inner life of children, where the most mundane objects can become superheroes or villains. Traction Man and his vaguely canine sidekick, Scrubbing Brush rid the world from evil, in a series of comic adventures. But can they overcome the dreaded dorky green romper and matching bonnet? Of course! (Traction Man always saves the day...)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on July 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Ages 4-8 will appreciate a fun and original story of an unusual relationship between a child and a toy. "Traction Man" is a small action figure leading the crusade against evil: he guards toast, searches the dishwasher for lost items, and escapes the Poisonous Dishcloth. He's a happy savior - until Granny gives him a hand-knit green suit to wear, which makes him feel stupid. Can Traction Man overcome his silly clothing to remain the hero?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Princess Bookworm VINE VOICE on April 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic, fun, imaginative children's book that me and my husband love to read to our child. Mini Grey captures a child's imagination with such precision that it brings back hilarious memories of our own fantastic pretend worlds. Great work Mini!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship on March 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first night that I read this book to my son, he had to cover the pictures so that I could stop laughing long enough to finish reading it. This book is a scream! If you have ever owned an action figure or a doll like Barbie, you need this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. R. Conrad on January 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Traction Man is Here is so fun I had to read it to my grandson 5 times one day! The illustrations are clever, colorful and so interesting you notice something different every time you read it.
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