Marvin is a bug – a very unusual bug.  He not only enjoys swimming, but he’s also become friends with a human boy.  His parents are horrified, concerned about Marvin stepping outside their safe little world in the wall behind the Pompaday’s sink.  But Marvin, through his artwork, finds an unexpected friend in James – and unexpected adventures.

It started when Marvin wanted to give James a birthday present.  He thinks James gets overlooked so much, he wants James to know he cares.  Marvin finds an ink set James’ father gave him for his birthday, and during the night, draws James’ a beautiful picture of the scene outside his bedroom window.

Once the adults see Marvin’s marvelous picture, events get out of hand, and the two find themselves in the middle of an art heist.  Marvin has many adventures in the world outside the Pompaday’s apartment, and is thankful when he’s able to return to his family.

This is a book about friendship and family, and the importance of relationships.  Marvin and James both exhibit courage and loyalty, to each other and to their families.  Interspersed with the story are Broach’s beautiful descriptions of art, the artistic process and even some art history.  Her author’s note at the end is essential to distinguishing between fact and fiction.

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