Traction Man and the Beach Odyssey by Mini Grey
Traction Man and his faithful sidekick Scrubbing Brush are on the way to the beach. There they explore the depths of the Rockpool to discover what creature live beneath the calm surface. They are then called upon to guard the picnic from any intruders. Unfortunately, Truffles the dog decided to bury Traction Man. Happily Scrubbing Brush was there to dig him free. But just as they are feeling safe, a wave comes and sweeps both of them out into the ocean. When they resurface, they have been discovered by a girl who carries them to the Dollies’ Castle where there are garlands, sweet treats, and plenty of pink. Truffles returns to save Traction Man from the castle, and Traction Man and the dolls head off on a shared adventure, to explore digging to the Center of the Earth.
This is the third Traction Man book, and I continue to delight in them. Grey has exactly the right tone in the writing with Traction Man often speaking like a movie announcer and always in capital letters. She incorporates plenty of humor into the book, but the reader is not laughing at the adventures or the play of the children. Instead it is the inherent humor of action figures, their worlds, and that strong dialogue voice.
Grey also uses small details throughout the book to really create a full world for Traction Man. Garbage on the beach has brand names and logos, the text of the book is shown on graph paper with torn edges, action sequences are put into frames and read like comic books. The end pages of the book are just as fun with details about Beach-Time Brenda, one of the dolls, at the front of the book and a comic featuring both Traction Man and Brenda at the end.
A great summer read for Traction Man fans, this third book can stand happily on its own. Appropriate for ages 4-6.
Reviewed from library copy.