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by Elise Broach
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children's fiction. Likeable story that should appeal to boys and girls, drags a bit at the end (and they never do catch the criminal). Should work well for a read-aloud. ( )
This was a family listen, though one of my kids had read it before. Though it is geared toward middle readers (grades 3-5) it was still an enjoyable story and made me think twice before carelessly swatting a bug. Like a Cricket in Times Square, this story presents a talented lovable insect who is able to interact with humans. Marvin is a beetle living in the Pompaday family's NYC apartment. When 11-year-old James gets an ink drawing set from his artistic father, Marvin and James' friendship begins. Marvin crawls through the ink one night and then onto paper to create a stunning cityscape as a birthday gift for James. James is a bit of a misfit at school and is living with his mother, step-father and demanding step-baby-brother and Marvin witnesses his dejection. The drawing is an attempt to cheer him up. However, Mrs. Pompaday finds it, assumes James made it and importunes Carl, his father, to take him to the Met for further art exposure. James is asked to create a copy of one of Albrecht Durer's drawings to foil an art robbery. Marvin actually does the drawing, and James gets the credit, and together they solve the mystery. A sweet story and an excellent way to get kids interested in art in the tradition of Blue Balliett and E.L. Konigsburg.
This one got so much hype, and I was disappointed. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't very good, either. I'm not sure what kind of reader would sit through the first part of talking cockroaches in the walls, and then be interested in a discussion of the Four Virtues. The crime/mystery part was interesting, but it took entirely too long to get there.
Marvin is a beetle who lives with his family in the New York City apartment of the Pompaday family. Marvin befriends James, the son/stepson of Pompaday family. For his eleventh birthday, James's stepfather gave him a pen-and-ink set to use for drawing. James was unsure what to do with it; Marvin showed him by using the set to draw an elaborate artwork. Eventually, once they become friends and develop an appreciation for art, James and Marvin help solve the case of the mysterious disappearance of artworks from New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. This chapter book would be a great choice read for an advanced elementary school student.
A beetle who discovers he can draw with his antennae makes friends with a boy and the two set out to solve an art heist mystery together at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. Great for book club at school and we invite the art teacher to join us.
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Wikipedia in English (1)
After Marvin, a beetle, makes a miniature drawing as an eleventh birthday gift for James, a human with whom he shares a house, the two new friends work together to help recover a Durer drawing stolen from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.6 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 21st Century
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