SERIES THURSDAY: The Miniature World of Marvin and James/James to the Rescue by Elise Broach


In this Masterpiece Adventure from bestselling author Elise Broach, James is going on vacation for a week. His best friend, Marvin the beetle, has to stay at home. Without James to keep him company, Marvin has to play with his annoying cousin, Elaine. Marvin and Elaine quickly find themselves getting into all sorts of trouble—even getting trapped inside a pencil sharpener! But more importantly, will James still be Marvin's friend when he gets home or will he have found a new best friend?


Having thoroughly enjoyed the original story of James and Marvin (Masterpiece by Elise Broach), I was thrilled to hear about this new series about the two.  And I was not disappointed.  While this book series is for younger readers, the same charm found in the original permeates the book. Marvin is very cute for a cockroach with some serious artistic talent.  In this first book, Marvin is worried that James will find a new friend while he's on vacation and not want to be friends with him when he gets home.  But things take a turn for the more exciting with he and his cousin Elaine, discover the joys and terrors of a pencil sharpener.  The text is perfect for young readers who are still learning to read but want to read chapter books as it is large with only a few paragraphs per page.  The copious illustrations are great and blend with the story perfectly.  My favorites are the ones where Marvin and Elaine are trying to get out of the pencil sharpener after a pencil has been stuck into the opening.


In this Masterpiece Adventure, the second in a companion series for younger readers from bestselling author Elise Broach, Marvin the beetle is going collecting with his family. All is good and well until Uncle Albert gets hurt. Marvin needs James's help to save Uncle Albert before it's too late.

This young chapter book captures the miniature world of Marvin the beetle and his special friendship with James.


In this second adventure, Marvin sets out with his cousin, Elaine, and his father and uncle to see what useful items they can find around the house.  Marvin is a bit jealous when Elaine finds something great.  When Marvin finds something that he thinks might be useful he is really excited, but the others aren't so sure the item has any value.  And when Uncle Albert gets injured, other things take precedence and Marvin has to get help from James.  Once again, Murphy and Broach have created an intriguing situation and the darling illustrations to go along with it.  I especially enjoy the way James and Marvin have become friends despite the fact that they can't talk to each other and have to find other ways to communicate.  A fun series for young readers.


  1. What a coincidence. I reviewed James to the rescue this week as well :0)


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