Masterpiece, by Elise Broach
Henry Holt and Co., 2008
ages: 8 - 10
I'm just finishing Masterpiece, by Elise Broach, and I'm really enjoying it. Above all, it's a story of friendship - an unlikely friendship between Marvin, a small beetle, and James, a 10-year-old boy living in New York City. But layered into this story is an adventure and a mystery. It all starts when James is given a pen-and-ink set for his 10th birthday. Marvin is exploring in James' room that night, leaving James a special Buffalo Nickel for his birthday, and he discovers the ink.
Marvin, it turns out, has a remarkable gift for drawing - he dips his forearms into the ink and draws a miniature version of the scene outside the window. James finds the drawing and meets Marvin, and their friendship (and adventures) develop from there. They get swept up into helping arrest an art thief at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
It's a fun read - with both funny and touching moments - perfect for kids ages 8 - 10.