Friday, March 1, 2013

Traction Man for Picture Book Friday

Picture Book Friday is upon us again.  Funny how it keeps creeping up week after week!  Today I am paying tribute to Mini Grey, a wonderful picture book author and artist who has literally brought tears of laughter to my children's eyes, well ok, not just the kids...

Her Traction Man series is brilliant and while some of her humor is quite sophisticated and a bit tongue in cheek, there is enough in her books to keep both you and your child entertained read after read.  Because, lets face it, a good picture book never gets read just once.

Title:       Traction Man is Here

Author:    Mini Grey

Target:     Preschool - Grade 2

Series:      Yes

What this book is about:
Well with Christmas upon us, our boy asks for and receives the new Traction Man!   He can do anything - save the dolls from the evil spade who has buried them in the garden, fight off the poisonous dishcloth while looking for the Lost Wreck of the Sieve (while doing dishes) and save scrubbing brush from the mysterious toes in the bath.  But it is not until he gets to grandma's house and sees the unusual present waiting for him, that Traction Man's biggest challenge takes place.

Why I love this book:
I don't want to spoil his gift from grandma, but lets just say no one in my family can read it without starting to laugh.  In fact, I am chuckling right now looking at the pictures.  Mini's deadpan funny humor throughout this book is perfectly on target.  Her pictures are right on point and just add to the fun.

Who this book is for:
Kids who like to laugh.  Some of the humor is a bit more sublime, so parents will also enjoy the book

Final thoughts:
Who doesn't love a superhero who is properly attired for every adventure!

Title:       The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon

Author:   Mini Grey

Target:    Kindergarten - Grade 3

What this book is about:
When someone puts Hey Diddle Diddle on the record player, Dish and Spoon run off for their great adventure.  When their fame and fortune dry up, they must resort to a life of crime - which puts them behind bars.  After their release, with a new lease on life and a new found understanding, they hear the familiar song played again and are off again for another adventure.

Why I love this book:
This book is not for every child.  It has some pretty sophisticated and deadpan humor.   But if you and your child are in the right place, this book and the illustrations are quite good.  Grey uses some smaller inset drawings along the edge to show the movement of the action and they really need to be examined to get the most out of the story.  But as always, there is such a great level of humor in these books that is so clever

Who this book is for:
This book is for older kids who will really understand the funny parts.  Also, the reader must talk the child through some of the action and smaller inset pictures for the kids to completely understand the flow of the story.

Final thoughts:
A dish and spoon on the skids, some sharp and shady cutlery and finally redemption - you need no more for a delightful fractured fairytale.

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