Skip to main content

The Masterpiece Adventures Book 3: Trouble at School for Marvin & James by Elise Broach, illustrated by Kelly Murphy, 104 pp, RL 1.5

Seven years ago I reviewed Masterpiece by Elise Broach with illustrations by Kelly Murphy and I loved it. Three years ago I was very happy to review The Miniature World of Marvin & James, the first in a chapter book series based on the middle grade novel.  Since then, I started work as librarian in an elementary school with a book collection that was severely lacking in Bridge Chapter Books and this was one of the first ones I added to the shelves. Since it's been three years, I wanted to make sure that this fantastic series is fresh in the minds of anyone who has an emerging reader looking for high interest books.

In book three, Trouble at School for Marvin and James, James invites Marvin to come to school with him. Art class is first and Marvin is an artist! Together, they use chalk pastels and create an amazing picture of a monarch butterfly. Everything is going well until lunch in the cafeteria and a huge sneeze sends Marvin flying into the trash along with all the leftover lunch.

Even though his favorite chocolate cookie is next to him, Marvin is worried and scared and maybe even crying just a little. But, a friendly cockroach, a cherry Lifesaver and a bit of good luck save the day! What I love most about The Masterpiece Adventures are the friendship, perseverance and great story telling that Broach brings to these books. Combined with Murphy's marvelous illustrations that bring the creativity and adventure to life, this series is a winner!

The Miniature World of Marvin & James        James to the Rescue

Source: Purchased


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…