Synopses & Reviews
Who is this kid with the funny name? Well, that depends on who you ask. Everybody who knows Melvin--his mom, his dad, his best friend Jimmy, his dog--even Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the big ugly monster with three eyes who lives in his closet have a different opinion. This original and riotous picture book has a lot to say--not only about Melvin, but also about perspective, point of view, and a six-and-a-half-year-old's place in the world.
"Bruel (Bad Kitty) proclaims, 'This is Melvin Bubble,' on the opening page, as a huge arrow hangs above the boy hero. Melvin looks friendly and unassuming enough, but according to the unseen narrator, the fellow remains a mystery, and the only way to find out the answer to the title question is to interview... well, anybody who will answer. What follows is a parade of characters, each one goofier and more improbable than the last, and all of whom reveal more about themselves than they do about Melvin. Dad calls him 'smart, handsome, popular, a great athlete! Now that I think about it he's just like me when I was his age!' His best friend thinks Melvin's 'the coolest kid I know! He can whistle 'The Itsy-Bitsy Spider' through his nose!' and the tooth fairy just wants to kvetch about how Melvin's big head makes it a real pain to leave coins under his pillow. The straight-man narrator's wry comments may be most appreciated by older readers (e.g., when a beautiful princess dreams of happily ever after with Melvin, the narrator says, 'You may be thinking of someone else'). Bruel, as always, builds terrific comic momentum, and his broad cartooning is the definition of zany. Precocious raconteurs will probably get the biggest kick out of seeing how the characters' rants and soliloquies literally push the limits of their dialogue balloons. A read-aloud treat and fine inspiration for classroom biographies. Ages 4-8." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
" Bruel, as always, builds terrific comic momentum ... A read-aloud treat—and fine inspiration for classroom biographies."
--Publishers Weekly "Bright cartoon illustrations provide tongue-in-cheek commentary ... Young readers should find him familiar, and may be moved by his example to take similar stock of themselves."
--Kirkus Reviews "While teachers will find this a delightful choice for exploring point of view or the concept of identity, children will simply think it's great fun."
--School Library Journal "Delightful cartoon style characters and contents combine to produce really amusing visualizations of the wide-ranging answers to the title question."
About the Author
Nick Bruel is the author and illustrator of New York Times bestseller Boing! and the Bad Kitty books, among others. He is a freelance illustrator and cartoonist, and during his down time, he collects PEZ dispensers and grows tomatoes in the backyard. He lives in Tarrytown, NY with his wife Carina and their lovely cat Esmerelda.