Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Traction Man and the Beach Odyssey by Mini Grey

7th July 2011, Jonathan Cape
32 pages, Hardback 
Review copy

Children's, 5-7 years, Picture book

Action hero & unlikely sidekick, adventure, life on a beach, lots of humour, misunderstandings, friendship, tackling 'monsters', getting in tricky situations,

Traction Man and Scrubbing Brush are at the beach! Traction Man even has his special Squid-Proof Scuba Suit, perfect for exploring the secret crevices of the Rockpool. But there are adventures in store for our intrepid hero as he faces the thrills of Operation Picnic, the tribulation of being buried in sand and – worst of all – being washed away by a giant wave… 

Join the daring duo as they meet new challenges ... and new friends.

Nayuleska's reasons for loving Traction Man....I was in an almost constant state of smiles and laughter as I imagined him having a tough sounding voice, he was put in awkward situations especially with his sidekick, and the accessories he uses are funny. 

Is there another character who deserves a mention? Yes - Scrubbing Brush! It's one of the most hilarious sidekicks ever - especially with the scrapes it gets into. 

How evil/nasty is the enemy? I don't think Traction Man appreciated joining the Dollies for a picnic, not when he's made to look like them. 

Are there plenty of plot twists and surprises? Most definitely - each one made me smile even more! Although the dog scared me - any black dog/cat/wolf has me petrified. 

What style are the illustrations?  They look like either pencil or crayon, or at a push maybe watercolour, which fits in with the theme of the book. 

Is the book interactive and/or are the illustrations engaging? There's quite a lot to look at on each page, with various things to point out which will provide further discussion on the story. Both inside covers have additional 'pages' which are funny.

Are there any messages put forward to the reader? Cooperation gets tasks finished quicker, and there's lots of fun to be had at the beach, so long as the dangers are pointed out. 

One of my favourite parts was...the last pages where Traction Man and the Dollies team up to dig a hole, and wear the appropriate clothes and have lots of enthusiasm.

I give this 9/10

Suggested reads
Three by the Sea, another seaside adventure, not as funny but it is by Mini Grey with similar style illustrations. 

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