"The Miniature World of Marvin and James" reviewed by the Horn BookA lovely review of Elise Broach and Kelly Murphy's The Miniature World of Marvin and James, by The Horn Book:
"A new early chapter book series follows the friendship of beetle Marvin and human boy James of Masterpiece, for a younger audience. The sentences are shorter and the illustrations more prominent, but the amiable tone and the relatable characters (even the beetles) are just the same. Marvin helps James pack a suitcase for the boy's week-long trip to the beach. With James away, Marvin and his cousin Elaine have some adventures inside the house. A nice tension is created as Marvin and Elaine gleefully dive into some wood shavings to play in what the child reader will recognize as a (dangerous-to-beetles) electric pencil sharpener. New readers will be rewarded for the effort by this page-turning adventure, which is written throughout with emotional authenticity and illustrated with lively pen-and-ink illustrations in a brown and gray palette, ending with a very satisfying conclusion."
—Susan Dove Lempke
"The Miniature World of Marvin and James" reviewed by Publishers WeeklyA wonderful review of Elise Broach and Kelly Murphy's The Miniature World of Marvin and James, by Publishers Weekly:
"Broach and Murphy bring back James and his beetle best friend, Marvin-previously seen in 2008's acclaimed Masterpiece-in this first book in the Masterpiece Adventures series of chapter books. Their cross-species friendship is just right for a younger crowd, and so are the insecurities and frustrations Marvin is feeling as James prepares to go on a trip to the beach without him (...)
Murphy's pen-and-ink illustrations shift from glee to horror as she shows the bug-eyed beetles cannonballing into the soft pit of pencil shavings, only to have their escape route plugged by a pencil. Despite the simplicity of Broach's pared-down sentences, the story brims with both emotion and moments of quiet wisdom."
"The Miniature World of Marvin and James" reviewed by KirkusA glowing review of Elise Broach and Kelly Murphy's latest chapter book, The Miniature World of Marvin and James, by Kirkus:
"Murphy clearly revels in the Borrowers-style perspective of the beetles' miniature world: In their under-sink home, Marvin's drawing table is a die, and a propped-up birthday-cake candle dwarfs the family. The dramatic, blow-by-blow pencil-sharpener incident dominates the story, but it circles back to friendship. James really did miss Marvin after all, and a souvenir seashell (the perfect beetle hideout!) seals the deal.
This winsome series debut is both a sweet story of cross-species friendship and a sobering new way to look at pencil sharpeners."