The Curse of the Bologna Sandwich (Melvin Beederman, Superhero Series #1)

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Overview

Bad guys tremble at the sound of his name!

Meet Melvin Beederman. He's a pretty good superhero, even though it always takes him five or six tries to get launched and flying. His weakness (every superhero has one) is bologna, which makes it hard to go into a deli. Still, Melvin manages to keep the city of Los Angeles free of nasty villains?once he's airborne.

Crash! Splat! ...

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Overview

Bad guys tremble at the sound of his name!

Meet Melvin Beederman. He's a pretty good superhero, even though it always takes him five or six tries to get launched and flying. His weakness (every superhero has one) is bologna, which makes it hard to go into a deli. Still, Melvin manages to keep the city of Los Angeles free of nasty villains—once he's airborne.

Crash! Splat! Thud! Kabonk!

This series has it all: hilarious story lines, amazing classic-comic-inspired illustrations, fearless new superheroes, and SNACKS!

Bad guys tremble at the sound of his name!

Melvin loves fighting crime in Los Angeles, until the McNasty Brothers, the baddest guys of all, start robbing banks—and Melvin's superpowers mysteriously disappear. Enter Candace, a third-grade actress with some surprising new talents. Once they team up, nothing can beat these partners in uncrime. Nothing but bologna, that is . . .

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Melvin Beederman:

"A fun, flighty caper. Slyly sprinkled with borrowings from superhero tales and packed with kid-pleasing yucks, this copiously and comically illustrated tale is sufficiently full of baloney to fly."

Publishers Weekly

"Trine's fast-paced, humorous new series will capture the hearts of bright new readers."

—Jody Fickes Shapiro, Adventures for Kids, Ventura, CA

(from summer 2006 Booksense Children's Picks)

"Trine and Montijo have given readers an appealing superhero and his trusty assistant. These delightfully entertaining adventure stories are a must-have for most libraries."

—School Library Journal

Publishers Weekly
In this launch of the appealing Melvin Beederman, Superhero chronicles, Melvin has just graduated from Superhero Academy. He looks spiffy in his red cape and is a whiz at math. Leaping over tall buildings in a single bound, however, and stopping speeding locomotives are not easy for him, and "that whole x-ray vision thing it brought nothing with it but guilt. Everywhere Melvin looked underwear." That's an apt reference, since Captain Underpants-esque humor abounds in this fun, flighty caper, presented with a bit of Airplane-like deadpan delivery. Melvin is assigned to L.A., where he begins "catching bad guys right and left," watching TV cartoons and eating junk food between tasks. When he brings his muddy cape to the cleaners, they inadvertently swap it with a cape belonging to Candace Brinkwater, a girl starring in a Little Red Riding Hood play. While Candace soars through the air wearing the superhero's cape, Melvin can't get off the ground (even after 642 attempts). But Melvin fashions a brilliant solution and saves the day with a bit of assistance. Slyly sprinkled with borrowings from superhero tales ("Holy slow poke!" says capeless Melvin) and packed with kid-pleasing yucks, this copiously and comically illustrated tale is sufficiently full of baloney to fly. The spoof continues in The Revenge of the McNasty Brothers (the title suggests the return of Melvin's nemesis), published simultaneously (0-8050-7929-7; paper 0-8050-7837-1). Ages 7-10. (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Is Los Angeles ready for its newest superhero that just graduated from Superhero Academy? Melvin Beederman receives his first assignment, which takes him to Los Angeles to fight crime. As he settles into his hideout and job, Melvin reveals his strengths and weaknesses as a superhero who must abide by the Superhero code. What is a superhero without a sidekick? Through the mix up of capes, learn how Candace Brinkwater becomes his assistant crime fighter. The dynamic duo team up to capture the malodorous bank robbers, the McNasty Brothers. The smelly siblings, Grunge and Filthy McNasty, discover and use Melvin's weakness, bologna, to their benefit when planning a getaway. It is up to Melvin to use his brainpower to figure out a plan before Grunge and Filthy escape with their loot. In the back of the book, there is a brief profile of the superheroes, Melvin and Candace, along with the McNasty Brothers, a list of the Superhero Codes, and a very short biography of Melvin (before his entrance into the Superhero Academy). The artist, Rhode Montijo, uses a comical quality in the illustrations and includes his prototypes in designing the superheroes. Greg Trine spreads typical superhero cliches throughout the story and adds bits of narrator humor. This book is the first in the "Melvin Beederman, Superhero" series. 2006, Henry Holt and Company, and Ages 7 to 9.
—Carrie Hane Hung
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Melvin Beederman, graduate of the Superhero Academy, is sent by Headmaster Spinner to Los Angeles, a city in desperate need of a superhero. Although not perfect (he usually needs five or six tries to leap tall buildings and his X-ray vision causes him to see everyone's underwear), Melvin is a force to be reckoned with. In Curse, he meets Candace Brinkwater when the cleaners accidentally send his superhero cape home with her. They agree to work together to take on the evil (and odoriferous) McNasty brothers. When the villains attempt to sap his strength with bologna (Melvin's weakness), the superhero overcomes them, and, in an action-packed chase, stops a speeding train (with a little help from Candace) and takes them to the police. In Revenge, the superheroes once again foil the McNasty family when the siblings break out of jail. When Melvin and Candace are imprisoned in a warehouse with 6000 pounds of bologna, all seems lost. In the end, however, they are able to think their way out of the dilemma and, once again, defeat the McNastys. The black-and-white cartoons lend action and humor to the already rollicking text. Trine and Montijo have given readers an appealing superhero and his trusty assistant. These delightfully entertaining adventure stories are a must-have for most libraries.-Rebecca Sheridan, Easttown Library & Information Center, Berwyn, PA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A mixup at the laundry leaves a fledgling superhero sans cape and powers in this laughlaced kickoff to a new series. Graduating at the top of his Superhero Academy class despite needing more than just a single bound to leap tall buildings, Melvin lands a juicy first assignment: L.A., superheroless since the retirement of Kareem AbdulJabbar. There, his pursuit of the unwashed but canny McNasty Brothers, Filthy and Grunge, runs into complications when he gets the wrong cape back from the cleaners and suddenly can't fly, see people's underpants with xray vision or run any better than a middleschooler. A small but intrepid figure with oversized eyeglasses in the many Jetsonsstyle line drawings, Melvin exudes a seriousness at amusing odds with the tale's droll tone. In the end, the McNastys are behind bars and Melvin, with both his original cape and a new sidekick, is left "to rest up for book number two": The Revenge of the McNasty Brothers, also due in June. His "noggin power" should win the day there, too. (Fantasy. 911)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805078367
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Publication date: 5/30/2006
  • Series: Melvin Beederman, Superhero Series , #1
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 236,261
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 550L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

GREG TRINE is the author of the Melvin Beederman, Superhero books.  He is also the author of the young adult book, The Second Base Club. He lives with his family in his Southern California hideout.

 

RHODE MONTIJO is Superhero Greg’s sidekick. He enjoys creating art from his topsecret headquarters in California.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: Never Say No to a Cry for Help

Melvin Beederman didn't feel like a superhero. Sure, he'd graduated from the academy with the others. And he did look fantastic in his red cape and high boots. But there were some things that bothered him. He never once was able to leap a tall building in a single bound—it always took him five or six. Stopping a speeding locomotive wasn't easy. And that whole x-ray vision thing...it brought nothing with it but guilt.

Everywhere Melvin looked—underwear.

Still, he was fast. He was good at math and science. And he had so impressed his teachers with his oral report on the nature of good and evil that he nudged superhero Carl out of the top spot—Carl who was a single-leap building jumper and who had no problem stopping trains.

Melvin Beederman beat him out. He graduated at the top of his class.

Perhaps Headmaster Spinner had said it best. "A superhero's greatest weapon is his brain." And he had high hopes for young Beederman.

Now that graduation was over Melvin made his way across the school yard, past the exercise area where Superhero Carl was busy bench pressing a Buick. Carl stopped what he was doing long enough to sneer and said, "The top of our class. Bah! You can't even stop a train."

"I can so. It just takes me a while," Melvin said.

He knew Carl was still angry about being bumped out of the top spot. Carl was being sent far away, to the Fiji Islands for his first assignment and Melvin was glad. He didn't trust Carl any farther than he could throw a Chevrolet...or a Buick for that matter.

"Where are they sending you?" Carl asked.

"Don't know yet. I'm meeting with the headmaster in a few minutes."

Headmaster Spinner was waiting for Melvin at the door of his office. His belly was huge and Melvin wondered how he ever got off the ground. Did he have a hard time leaping tall buildings?

"Come in, Melvin," he said. "Well, today is the day. Are you ready to start your life of fighting crime?"

Melvin wasn't sure. It had been two years since he'd been plucked from the orphanage—two years of flying lessons, of stopping trains, of seeing through walls. And now he was being sent off to save the world? How could he tell the headmaster he didn't think he was up to it?

"Where are you sending me, sir?" he asked, finally.

"Before we get to that, tell me, do you have any questions? Any problems you'd like to discuss?"

"Well..." Melvin began.

"Yes?"

"The x-ray vision. I had no idea there were so many kinds of underwear in the world."

"You'll learn to turn it off with time." The headmaster spun around. "But as long as we're on the subject, what do you think of my striped boxers?"

"I was trying to ignore them, sir."

"Right. Let's get down to business. I'm sending you to Los Angeles, California. They haven't had a superhero there since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar retired."

"Who's that?"

"Famous basketball player."

"What about Shaquille O'Neil?" Melvin asked.

"He's not a superhero. He's just very tall. Besides, they traded him." He noticed the worried look on the boy's face. "They need you over there, Melvin. Remember, what's the first rule of the Superhero's Code?"

"Never say no to a cry for help."

"Correct. You'll leave immediately. Do well and you can have your choice of assignments."

Did he have to bring up the code? The code had been so drummed into the students of the academy that everyone knew it by heart. Someone was crying out for help, and Melvin knew he couldn't say no.

"The code will guide you," Headmaster Spinner said. He lead Melvin out of his office onto the lawn and shook his hand. "Now get going."

Melvin looked west and took a deep breath. "Up, up, and away." Crash.

"Up, up, and away." Splat.

Thud.

Kabonk.

On the fifth try he was up and flying and heading for Los Angeles.

Copyright © 2006 Greg Trine

This text is from an uncorrected proof

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Chapter 1: Never Say No to a Cry for Help

Melvin Beederman didn't feel like a superhero. Sure, he'd graduated from the academy with the others. And he did look fantastic in his red cape and high boots. But there were some things that bothered him. He never once was able to leap a tall building in a single bound—it always took him five or six. Stopping a speeding locomotive wasn't easy. And that whole x-ray vision thing...it brought nothing with it but guilt.

Everywhere Melvin looked—underwear.

Still, he was fast. He was good at math and science. And he had so impressed his teachers with his oral report on the nature of good and evil that he nudged superhero Carl out of the top spot—Carl who was a single-leap building jumper and who had no problem stopping trains.

Melvin Beederman beat him out. He graduated at the top of his class.

Perhaps Headmaster Spinner had said it best. "A superhero's greatest weapon is his brain." And he had high hopes for young Beederman.

Now that graduation was over Melvin made his way across the school yard, past the exercise area where Superhero Carl was busy bench pressing a Buick. Carl stopped what he was doing long enough to sneer and said, "The top of our class. Bah! You can't even stop a train."

"I can so. It just takes me a while," Melvin said.

He knew Carl was still angry about being bumped out of the top spot. Carl was being sent far away, to the Fiji Islands for his first assignment and Melvin was glad. He didn't trust Carl any farther than he could throw a Chevrolet...or a Buick for that matter.

"Where are they sending you?" Carl asked.

"Don't know yet.I'm meeting with the headmaster in a few minutes."

Headmaster Spinner was waiting for Melvin at the door of his office. His belly was huge and Melvin wondered how he ever got off the ground. Did he have a hard time leaping tall buildings?

"Come in, Melvin," he said. "Well, today is the day. Are you ready to start your life of fighting crime?"

Melvin wasn't sure. It had been two years since he'd been plucked from the orphanage—two years of flying lessons, of stopping trains, of seeing through walls. And now he was being sent off to save the world? How could he tell the headmaster he didn't think he was up to it?

"Where are you sending me, sir?" he asked, finally.

"Before we get to that, tell me, do you have any questions? Any problems you'd like to discuss?"

"Well..." Melvin began.

"Yes?"

"The x-ray vision. I had no idea there were so many kinds of underwear in the world."

"You'll learn to turn it off with time." The headmaster spun around. "But as long as we're on the subject, what do you think of my striped boxers?"

"I was trying to ignore them, sir."

"Right. Let's get down to business. I'm sending you to Los Angeles, California. They haven't had a superhero there since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar retired."

"Who's that?"

"Famous basketball player."

"What about Shaquille O'Neil?" Melvin asked.

"He's not a superhero. He's just very tall. Besides, they traded him." He noticed the worried look on the boy's face. "They need you over there, Melvin. Remember, what's the first rule of the Superhero's Code?"

"Never say no to a cry for help."

"Correct. You'll leave immediately. Do well and you can have your choice of assignments."

Did he have to bring up the code? The code had been so drummed into the students of the academy that everyone knew it by heart. Someone was crying out for help, and Melvin knew he couldn't say no.

"The code will guide you," Headmaster Spinner said. He lead Melvin out of his office onto the lawn and shook his hand. "Now get going."

Melvin looked west and took a deep breath. "Up, up, and away." Crash.

"Up, up, and away." Splat.

Thud.
Kabonk.

On the fifth try he was up and flying and heading for Los Angeles. Copyright © 2006 Greg Trine
This text is from an uncorrected proof
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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    this is a good book

    because it is funny and thrilling. kids will enjoy it

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