cover image Traction Man and the Beach Odyssey

Traction Man and the Beach Odyssey

Mini Grey. Knopf, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-375-86952-5

In Traction Man’s third outing, the chiseled plastic hero spends a peril-filled day at the Wide Ocean with his doglike sidekick, Scrubbing Brush. In comic book–style sequences paired with prose that channels superhero pulp, Traction Man is buried by Granny’s drooling dog and then swept out to sea, only to be rescued by a girl who is happy to have Traction Man join her vacant-looking (but actually quite resourceful) Beach Time Brenda dolls in her sandcastle. Grey expertly skewers toy marketing (an endpaper spread showcasing Beach Time Brenda’s many accessories is especially wonderful) while creating comedic, large-scale dramas in a child-sized world. Ages 5–8. (May)