Invisible Inkling by Emily Jenkins
Hank Wolowitz, please call him Wolowitz, lives with his sister and parents in an apartment above their Brooklyn ice cream shop called the “Big Round Pumpkin: Ice Cream for a Happy World.” His best friend Wainscotting has moved to Iowa City leaving Wolowitz feeling alone. It doesn’t help that Wolowitz is being bullied at school by Gillicut who is taking his sprinkles at lunch each day Even worse – upon complaining to his teacher, Ms. Cherry, Wolowitz is given lame advice and later is accused of being the bully.
One day, while at the ice cream shop, Wolowitz drops sprinkles on the floor. When he reaches under the sink to get the fleeing sprinkles he feels something soft but sees nothing there. Later, he watches as a waffle cone walks itself to the edge of the counter and disappears. In the hallway of his apartment, with a neighbor’s dog on a leash, the dog goes crazy wild at an empty corner. Wolowitz swipes his hand through the area to show the canine that nothing is there and feels the furry object again, this time it is shaking in his would-be shoes. Wolowitz has found a lone bandapet.
Bandapets, an endangered species, need lots of Vitamin A, so they feed mainly on squash, which is getting scare in their own land. So this bandapet, named Inkling, has come to Brooklyn looking for squash, hoping he has hit the jackpot at the Big Round Pumpkin. Now that Wolowitz has saved Inkling from the dog Inkling is bound by the bandapet code of honor which requires the bandapet stay with the one who saved his life until he is the savior. Inkling and Hank, oops, Wolowitz spend afternoons playing games and eating, simply enjoying their friendship. Soon, Inkling realizes squash is not as plentiful as he thought in Brooklyn and must head north and Wolowitz must face his tormentor and get his sprinkles back. Together they work out a plan that may solve their problems.
Invisible Inkling is a fast read and a fun read. Hank Wolowitz is a lovable character and a typical 10 year old boy. Inkling comes along at the best time for Hank, right after his best friend moves away, leaving him without a close companion. With Inkling, Hank has both a new friend and a truly invisible friend. What kid wouldn’t love that! Hank’s father is still stuck in the 1960’s, talking like a hippie and extremely mellow with a sense of idealized peace. Not much help for a boy being bullied. Inkling is a chronic fibber, changing his background story enough to confuse even himself. Still this only endears Inkling more to Hank and the reader. This book won’t help anyone deal with bullies or learn where bandapets originally came from, but it is a funny read most kids will enjoy.
note: received from Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher