Best friends Orville Orbit and Myron Maloney have an astronomical idea for fourth grade’s most galactically awesome science project in the universe! Along with Myron’s gassy cow, Mooey, they engineer the Mooey Pooey Machine, a poo converter that supplies methane gas for the spaceship they’re building. Big bully Raunchy Ralphie, the snarly Principal Snodgrass, and the cranky teacher Mrs. Finklehoffer make life difficult. But never underestimate the determination of a nerdy, super-smart fourth-grader, his farm-boy sidekick and a gassy, Brussels sprout-loving cow! If you love the orneriness of Harold and George in Captain Underpants, you'll love the equally hilarious antics of Orville Orbit and Myron Maloney.
|Publisher:||Plaid People Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.50(d)|
|Age Range:||7 - 9 Years|
About the Author
Lynn Rowe Reed is a prolific author/illustrator with twenty-five children’s books to her credit, thirteen of which she has both written and illustrated. Her books have been published by many New York publishers, including Random House, Disney, Farrar Straus Giroux, HarperCollins, Amazon/Two Lions, and Holiday House. Reed’s work, spanning nearly three decades, includes the illustrations for the hugely successful Punctuation Takes A Vacation. Some of the recognition for her work includes a Children’s Choice Award, a School Library Journal starred review, a School Library Journal Best Book Award, a Bank Street College Best Book Award and a sparkling review from The New York Times! Reed’s work from Pedro, His Perro and the Alphabet Sombrero was selected for a Best in Children’s Book Illustration show at the Museum of American Illustration in New York City.
Read an Excerpt
Greetings, my fellow earthlings! You'll be pleased to meet me!
I am Orville Norbit. But I go by Orville ORBIT because my future mission is to travel to space!
For now, I just dream about outer space.
Since I LOVE outer space more than ANYTHING in the world, the kids at school call me Orville ORBIT instead of Orville Norbit.
Yes, I know that they are making fun of me! That's alright. They are probably jealous because I am so SUPER smart.
I am the smartest boy in the fourth grade here at Happy Hill Elementary. I am allowed to brag since I'm not good at anything else. I'm just smart.
Here is my best friend, Myron Maloney.
Some of the kids call him Myron Baloney because he always stuffs bologna sandwiches in his pocket for snacks. He must eat at least eleven or twelve squished bologna sandwiches a day!
Myron is not only my BEST friend. He is my only friend.
But that's okay because Myron has another friend named Mooey, so I really have two friends.
Mooey is actually a cow, but she's the nicest cow you'll ever meet. She doesn't smell all that great but she's got good manners and she's LOTS of fun! She gives Myron and me cow rides all the time.
The worst thing about Mooey is her very stinky cow gas.
It just about knocks us out whenever she's around. Sometimes we wear masks when we ride Mooey. It just depends on what she had for lunch.
We always carry a can of air freshener I stole out of my mom's bathroom.
Mooey loves things like Brussels sprouts. And since Myron lives on a farm, there are lots of Brussels sprouts tempting Mooey all the time. She can't resist them!
I just don't get it.
Yesterday, Mooey was farting so much that Myron and I decided to ride Penelope Pig instead. So we, technically, got a real "piggyback ride."
Penelope stinks, too, but at least she smells like mud and not Brussels sprout-farts.
Last summer, I spent two weeks with Myron teaching Latin to him and Penelope.
Myron had a hard time learning but the pig got the hang of it right away. E-shay is-ay one-ay art-smay ig-pay!
Is-thay is-ay e-thay end-ay of-ay apter-chay one-ay.
(If you can read this, you are smarter than Myron!)
(according to Orville)
If you've never spoken Pig Latin before, here are the rules:
Remove the first consonant or consonant blend of the word and move it to the end of the word.
Add the letters ay to that consonant or consonant blend. For example, the word "cat" would be "at-cay."
If there is no consonant at the beginning of the word, simply add the letters ay to the end of the word. For example, the word "into" would be "into-ay."
Now let's practice. Try saying this:
Myron loves squished bologna sandwiches!
Yron-May oves-lay ished-squay ologna-bay and wiches-say!
Astronomically-ay erfect-pay!CHAPTER 2
Let me tell you about my teacher, Mrs. Finklehoffer.
Last week, she handed out these flyers about the school science fair. "It's MANDATORY!" she barked in her biggest barking voice.
That word — MANDATORY — is Mrs. Finklehoffer's favorite word ever.
Here's my big problem: I LOVE science and there are too many great ideas to pick just one!
"Can I do six or seven projects? Or maybe eight?" I asked Mrs. Finklehoffer. "PLEEEEEEEAAAAASE?"
"No, Orville, one project will be enough." Mrs. Finklehoffer gave me a dirty look like she always does. She doesn't appreciate my ENTHUSIASM like she should!
Mrs. Finklehoffer has a grouchy, deep voice and she reminds me of a large rodent except that she doesn't have a tail.
A rodent is a rat or hamster or gerbil or something like that. I have a hamster named Irene.
Also, Mrs. Finklehoffer's curly hair is piled all springy on top of her head. Her nostrils flare really big when she gets mad. Her arm fat jiggles whenever she waves her arms, and she waves her arms every time she gets mad.
The most wonderful thing about Mrs. Finklehoffer is that she LOVES science! That makes her the best teacher I've ever had. Even if she does remind me of a rodent.
By the way, I do LOVE rodents! I keep Irene in my bedroom. I teach her how to do gymnastics. When I put her in a plastic ball to roll around, she practices her very advanced gymnastics. She is the only hamster alive who has mastered the full twisting double layout. And she nailed the landing!
One time, I took Irene to church and she rolled under all the pews all the way to the priest.
He had a hard time preaching while Irene was rolling between his legs and practicing cartwheels. Everyone in the congregation was snickering.
After church, Irene and I were in BIG trouble!
Anyway, since Myron and I had no other human friends, we became official science fair partners. With just three weeks until the science fair, we met to come up with a winning idea. There's no point in being in a science fair unless you can WIN it!
We were at Myron's house, sitting next to the barn, when I had the BRAINIEST idea in the history of Orville Orbit!
I got this idea while Myron and I were smelling Mooey's stinkiest poo ever! It was hard to concentrate on account of the horrible stink.
"EUREKA!" I shouted. "I have an idea!"
"No, I don't reek-a," said Myron. "That's all Mooey!" Myron thought I had insulted him.
"No, Silly. I have the best idea ever. I read this article in a science book about making new kinds of gas for fuel. Mooey's poo is FULL of methane gas. We can take her poo and build a poo converter and get enough gas to power our own spaceship!"
"Gross!" answered Myron. "Although it is sort of a genius idea, Orville. But where are we going to get our own spaceship?" "That's the easy part, Myron. We'll build it. The hard part is making the poo converter."
"Orville, that's going to be a big project!"
"Duh, Myron. That's why they call it a science fair PROJECT!"
Science with Orville Lesson 1
Cow poo is made up of lots of stuff. The bad thing is that it always stinks. But the good thing is that there's lots of methane gas in cow poo.
Methane is a gas that has four atoms of hydrogen stuck together with one atom of carbon. But you don't need to know that. You just need to know that when gas in cow poo is pressurized, it can be used as fuel.
So when you put the fuel in a spaceship, and ignite it, the spaceship is blasted into the sky. Simple, right? Cow poo + heat and pressure = gas and flame = blast off = science fair trophy!
And THAT is why a Mooey Pooey Machine is a WINNING science fair idea!
P.S. Since Mooey is our official poo donor, I think we will name our spaceship The Mooey Ship. Or The Pooey Ship.CHAPTER 3
The Mooey Pooey Machine
Myron and I met again the next day to start planning our science fair project.
"Myron, you need to start collecting poo ASAP so we can get enough for the machine."
(ASAP is my mom's favorite word. "Clean your room ASAP! Brush your teeth ASAP!)
ASAP is the word you use when you're the BOSS.)
"Whaaaaaaaaa? Why do I have to do the poo part?" whined Myron.
He knew the answer to that: Because I, Orville Orbit, was the only one of us smart enough to design a Mooey Pooey Machine!
Myron's job was POO. My job was BRAINS!
While Myron picked up poo, I started drawing the Mooey Pooey Machine.
He tried to remember not to touch his bologna sandwiches at the same time. He got pretty hungry.
Myron moved poo every day after school and I started collecting parts for the Mooey Pooey Machine.
My mom complained every day.
I made up one excuse for everything.
On Saturday, Myron spent the morning pushing wheelbarrows of poo from his house to mine.
That afternoon, we met in my basement and I used the diagram to put the machine together.
"Go ahead, Myron," I said. "Start filling the storage tank."
Myron shoveled the poo until it was full.
"We'll push the poo from the tank, through the mixer, into the heater. But we won't hook it up to the pressure tank until we've tested its motor first without the poo. We don't want to waste perfectly good poo!" Myron really smelled bad. He smelled way worse than Mooey even on her worst day. So he went home to take a bath.
I kept tinkering with the motor on the pressure tank until the Mooey Pooey Machine was ready to try out.
I would try it out after school on Monday if I could wait that long!CHAPTER 4
At school on Monday, I was SO excited about the progress we had made on our science fair project!
During science, I nearly peed in my pants when Mrs. Finklehoffer said, "Let's talk about the planets."
All I could think about was my spaceship and how it would take me to my favorite planets.
"I love URANUS!" I shouted, jumping from my seat.
The class cracked up.
Mrs. Finklehoffer's nostrils flared and her arms waved and her hands clapped for order. The wind created by her arm flab flapping sent the papers on her desk flying into the air.
The kid who laughed the hardest was Raunchy Ralphie — the meanest kid in fourth grade.
Raunchy Ralphie has a mustache. I think that's because he's flunked so many grades.
Kids in fourth grade with mustaches don't like other kids who are gifted enough to build super-smart machines!
I know this is true because Ralphie gives kids wedgies when he doesn't like them, and so far this school year, he's given me 239 wedgies. I'm keeping track in my wedgie journal.
Raunchy Ralphie is also the nosiest kid at Happy Hill. Every year he wins the Nosiest Kid award.
So it was no surprise when Raunchy Ralphie followed me home one day to spy on me while I was working on the Mooey Pooey Machine.
He tried to be sneaky but I could see him outside the basement window watching me.
I snuck upstairs and into the kitchen just long enough to mix a box of instant chocolate pudding with water.
I let Ralphie watch me put the mixture in the Mooey Pooey Machine.
Then I got on the floor and put my mouth under one of the spigots.
I got a big mouthful of pudding and I made sure Ralphie saw the big smile on my face 'cause it tasted so good.
"Mmmmm ... yummy!" I said, rubbing my belly.
That night, I could hardly sleep. I knew Ralphie would fall right into the poo trap.
I couldn't wait to tell Myron the next day at school!
Science with Orville Lesson 2
Allow me, Orville Orbit, to explain the science behind wedgies. They are, actually, quite interesting from a scientific point of view.
When Raunchy Ralphie gives me a wedgie, he does so by applying the scientific principle of Elasticity vs. Gravity.
As you can see, the wedgie Ralphie gives me is most painful when my undie's elastic force E is equal to the gravitational force G which is pulling me down.
This is called the E = G Super Bully Wedgie.CHAPTER 5
After school the next day, Ralphie followed Myron and me home just like I planned.
While he hid behind the bushes at my house, Myron and I went to work.
I found a pair of my mom's gloves so my hands wouldn't get dirty. Too bad the gloves were all lacy and white!
First, Myron used a plunger to push the poo from the storage can through the hose into the mixer.
After a few minutes of churning, the poo traveled through the Mooey Pooey Machine to the tank with the same spigot Ralphie had seen me drink from.
I said, "Now let's take a little Ralphie break."
We made sure Ralphie heard us when we walked out the basement door.
"Hey, Myron," I said, "let's go buy some stuff for our science fair project in which we make the most magical, amazing pudding mix product ever in the universe for winning first prize."
Stupid, huh? That's why I knew it would work on Ralphie!
We walked to the corner, then circled back to watch Ralphie through the basement window.
Sure enough, Ralphie found the tank with the spigot and put his mouth right under it. He pushed the release valve and ...
... Holy Nebulae!
Open wide, Ralphie!
Ralphie's eyes just about popped out of his head when he got a taste of the poo!
He spit and he spit until he was all spitted out, and he came flying outside, waving his arms and just about crying. He was saying lots of bad words which I won't repeat here.
Brown streaks covered his mustache. His mouth was so wide open his tonsils just about jumped out! You should have seen his face!
I knew that would be good for another few hundred wedgies, but it would be worth every one of them!
Myron and I laughed our butts off!
It was hard to settle down and go back to work after that because neither of us could stop laughing!
The best thing about Raunchy Ralphie's snack was getting to watch it over and over again. Being a genius and all, I thought beforehand to set up a video camera in the basement.
Myron and I would have something to watch for a long, long time!
* * *
Now that the Mooey Pooey Machine was working, Mooey's poo would be turned into pressurized gas overnight.
The next day, we would have the first tank of methane gas for our spaceship!
All we had left to do was build a spaceship.CHAPTER 6
WOO HOO! It was Saturday! Finally, Myron and I would have time to start building the spaceship.
We started collecting parts from Myron's farm and before long we had a big pile of stuff to use: two silo parts for the body, a cone-shaped funnel for the nose, a skateboard cut into halves for the wings and two nozzles for the gas to shoot from at the bottom.
Next, we borrowed Myron's dad's toolbox and we started putting it all together.
But soon I started to worry that maybe we should test the gas from the Mooey Pooey Machine first.
Like, what if it wasn't good enough for actually launching a spaceship?
"We need a way to test the gas," I told Myron. "You know. To see if it's really strong enough to send something into space."
"We should try it on something really light. Like maybe a cat or something," Myron suggested. "We could make an itty-bitty gas tank and put it on the neighbor's cat, right, Orville?"
"But I LIKE cats," I said. "What if we hurt the cat? Let's think of something else."
Myron's mom was at home babysitting.
The kid she was watching that day was a toddler named Sally Snodgrass. Our principal's daughter!
Principal Snodgrass (whose nickname at Happy Hill was Prince Snot Grass) was a short, squatty, bald man with a squeaky voice and three chins. His teeth looked like little rows of yellow corn, and his breath smelled like tangerines.
For such a little man, he had a very loud and scary snarl.
I would guess that he liked to snarl the most at kids who might steal his baby daughter to test a science experiment on her.
"Ohhhhhhhh, nooooooooo, Orville! We CAN'T use Sally for our test!" said Myron. He could see the wheels turning in my big, smart, nearly-exploding brainiac brain.
"But we'd be helping Sally have fun! She'd LOVE it!" I exclaimed. "It's BRILLIANT!"
Myron knew he couldn't win an argument with me. So pretty soon we were stealing Sally from her crib when she was napping, and making a tiny methane backpack for her to hold our fuel.
We planned to poke a little hole in it and the pressure would send her into space — IF the Mooey Pooey Machine had worked!
"But how are we going to get her back from up there?" Myron pointed to the sky.
"Oh, yeah, there's that. I guess we should make sure we can get her back out of the sky," I said. "We'll make a long tether and stick it on Sally with a bunch of velcro so she doesn't get away. We'll pull her back down with the tether. GENIUS!" I said.
Myron looked worried.
We found a bunch of rope and bungee cords in the barn and we strung them all together. Then we stuck one end on Sally with a roll of velcro.
Next, we made an airtight backpack out of some of my mom's exercise pants and we pumped it full of methane from the Mooey Pooey Machine.
I strapped it to Sally and attached one end of the rope. Myron held onto the other end. "Don't let go of your end, Myron, or she'll end up on Mars!" Since Sally was so little, we didn't think we'd need to light a fire to ignite the gas.
A small hole in the backpack would release enough gas to send her flying.
So I poked a little hole, and counted ...
Sally Snodgrass took off! She squealed like a pig as she got smaller and smaller and smaller.
Just then, Raunchy Ralphie popped up out of nowhere. "I've been looking for you two!" he said, shaking his fist and charging toward us.
As he was about to grab me, I escaped! All he had left of me was the waistband of my tightie whities. He yanked as hard as he could!(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Orville Orbit"
Copyright © 2018 Lynn Rowe Reed.
Excerpted by permission of Plaid People Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 — Hello, Earthlings,
Chapter 2 — Mrs. Finklehoffer,
Chapter 3 — The Mooey Pooey Machine,
Chapter 4 — Raunchy Ralphie,
Chapter 5 — Ralphie's Snack,
Chapter 6 — Sally Snodgrass,
Chapter 7 — The Mooey Ship,
Chapter 8 — Ralphie's Doo Doo,
Chapter 9 — Lucy's Loosey Laxative,
Chapter 10 — Cow-Napped,
Chapter 11 — The Science Fair,
Chapter 12 — Super Hanging Wedgie,
Chapter 13 — Post-Super Hanging Wedgie,