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Review - Invisible Inkling: Dangerous Pumpkins

Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Invisible Inkling: Dangerous Pumpkins
by by Emily Jenkins, Harry Bliss (Illustrator)

3 Stars
Publication: July 24, 2012
Pages: 160
Emily: Website
Harry: Website
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Buy it: Amazon | KindleB&N | Book Depository

It's Halloween. Fourth grader Hank Wolowitz "hates" Halloween. Every year his older sister, Nadia, scares him half to death.

This year might be different, though. After all, Hank's the only kid in Brooklyn--probably the only kid in North America--with an invisible bandapat living in his laundry basket. And Invisible Inkling "loves" Halloween. Pumpkins are his favorite food.

But Hank has serious trouble stopping Inkling from devouring every jack-o'-lantern in their neighborhood. And that's not his only problem: Will he figure out a cool costume? Will he survive the small army of ballerinas roaming the hallways of his building? Will Hank ever get revenge on Nadia?

Inkling has long since stopped listening to Hank's worries.

Inkling is taking action.

This is a fun Halloween read. Hank has an invisible, very real, friend (Invisible Inkling) who is alway sgetting him into troubles because of his deep love for pumpkins. Because no one else can see Inkling, Hank often gets into easily misunderstood situations as he cleans up after Inkling's messes. Readers will laugh at Hank's predicaments even as they are able to relate to him with regards to how he's treated by others, his relationship issues with family and friends, and dealing with it all.

Hank's family is a stereotypical one. The older sister (Nadia) is talented and overshadows the little brother (Hank). She's a troubled artist and looks the part, and she loves tormenting her little brother; in fact, one of her pranks on him led to his hatred/fear of Halloween. Hank is the typical dweeb of a little brother, who doesn't really fit into a crowd at school and is always misunderstood. Their parents don't have much personality; they're pretty happy-go-lucky, but they wake up often enough to scold Hank for things he didn't do. Inkling could fit into the family as the baby of the family who's always getting into trouble, causing problems for Hank, and letting Hank take the blame for him. Of course, they all make up somewhere towards the end--for the meantime.

I wouldn't have a problem with sharing this book with middle-grade readers. However, I would want to point out that while there are children treated with Hank, nobody has to put up with unfair treatment and that while isn't nice to pull pranks on people, just because someone does something to you doesn't mean you have to pay them back the same way. Also, that family should stick together. Nadia and Hank don't make up in the best way, but they still form a tentative peace. Hank is still learning how to stand up for him, and it's a work in progress. Hopefully, he finds more self-confidences as he grows older.

A copy of this book was provided for review purposes by the publisher.
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