Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Masterpiece by Elise Broach

This is a charming book about a boy and a beetle.

Marvin (the beetle) lives with his family under the kitchen sink, and is quite an adventurer. He's even learned how to swim!

James lives with his mother, stepfather, and baby brother in an apartment in New York City. He hardly ever gets to see his Dad, who is an artist, since the divorce. And when he brings James a pen-and-ink set for his birthday, James isn't sure what to do with it. But, that night, Marvin figures out what to do!

The unique mini picture he paints gets accredited to James, despite his protests. And the next thing you know they want him to paint a forgery to foil a theft. It's a near disastrous attempt to get the painting done by Marvin, who even gets swatted off James' shoulder at one point! But they manage.

And then the thief steals the REAL painting!

Marvin and James work real hard to solve the mystery and keep the wrong person from getting the blame, but it's a job to make it happen without revealing that Marvin is involved.

There's also a strange twist at the end so James can claim he can't paint anymore.

But all's well that ends well.

This is a great book for a child who likes fantasy stories about bugs that work with humans. This adult had a real good time reading it. It reminds me a bit of The Cricket in Times Square.

It would also be a great book for reading aloud!

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