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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group

James to the Rescue

The Masterpiece Adventures Book Two

The Masterpiece Adventures (Volume 2)

Elise Broach; illustrations by Kelly Murphy

Square Fish




Marvin is excited. Papa and Uncle Albert are going collecting. Collecting is what the beetles call it when they crawl around the Pompadays' apartment looking for things they can use.

A button can make a pretty table.

A doll's shoe can be a nice chair.

A cap from a tube of toothpaste can hold a giant feast.

For the first time ever, Marvin and Elaine get to go collecting. There's no telling what they will find. They are so excited that they do a happy dance, like this:

Mama is not so excited.

"Please be careful," she says. "Collecting is dangerous! You must listen to Papa and Uncle Albert."

"We will," Marvin promises.

"We're going to have the BEST time!" Elaine says. "I know we'll find something really good."

"I hope so," Marvin says.

Marvin thinks about what he would like to find.

He might find part of a crayon ...

Or a tiny piece of wrapping paper ...

Or something to put inside his secret hideout.

"Ready?" Papa says.

"YES!" Marvin and Elaine shout.

Papa and Uncle Albert have a little sack that they drag by the string. It's blue and silky. It used to hold a pair of Mrs. Pompaday's earrings. Now it's the perfect bag for collecting.

"Let's go," says Uncle Albert.

Papa, Uncle Albert, Marvin, and Elaine sneak out of their home in the kitchen cupboard.

William, James's baby brother, is in the kitchen. He's banging a spoon on the floor.

Bang! Bang! Bang!

The beetles do not like William. They hide near the leg of a chair.

But William sees them.

"Ba ba!" William says.

Uh-oh! He crawls across the floor, banging his spoon.

The beetles race away from him.

William crawls after them.

"BA BA!" he yells.

William raises his spoon over their heads.

"Stop, drop, and roll!" Papa cries.

The beetles all roll into little balls.

But then they hear Mrs. Pompaday.

"Shhhh, William," she says. "It's time for your nap."

William starts to cry. She picks him up and carries him away, her high heels clicking on the floor.

Click, click, click.

"Phew!" says Uncle Albert. "That was a close one. Let's go to James's room."

"Wait," Elaine says. "I found something."

Marvin sees crumbs under the table, but those are nothing special. The beetles find crumbs all the time.

But then he sees something else, something that Elaine is already racing toward at full speed.

Something shiny.

Something silver.

Text copyright © 2015 by Elise Broach

Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Kelly Murphy