Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the Inkling blog tour organized by Rockstar Book Tours. Written by Kenneth Oppel and illustrated by Sydney Smith, Inkling celebrated its book birthday yesterday.
About the Book:
Author: Kenneth Oppel
Pub. Date: November 6, 2018
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
From the acclaimed author of The Nest, The Boundless, and Airborn comes a brilliantly funny, breakout book about a boy who discovers an ink blot that’s come to life! Perfect for those who love Hoot and Frindle and sure to be a hit with kids everywhere!
The Rylance family is stuck. Dad’s got writer’s block. Ethan promised to illustrate a group project at school–even though he can’t draw. Sarah’s still pining for a puppy. And they all miss Mom. So much more than they can say.
Enter Inkling. Inkling begins life in Mr. Rylance’s sketchbook. But one night the ink of his drawings runs together–and then leaps off the page! This small burst of creativity is about to change everything.
Ethan finds him first. Inkling has absorbed a couple chapters of his math book–not good–and the story he’s supposed to be illustrating for school–also not good. But Inkling’s also started drawing the pictures to go with the story–which is amazing! It’s just the help Ethan was looking for! Inkling helps the rest of the family too–for Sarah he’s a puppy. And for Dad he’s a spark of ideas for a new graphic novel. It’s exactly what they all want.
It’s not until Inkling goes missing that this family has to face the larger questions of what they–and Inkling–truly need.
Kenneth Oppel has given us a small masterpiece of middle-grade fiction. Inkling is funny and fizzy and exciting, and brimming with the kind of interesting ideas and dilemmas that kids will love to wrestle with. And Sydney Smith is creating wonderfully inky illustrations to bring the story to vivid life. Get ready. A little ink blot is about to become your new favorite character!
When an ink blot escapes a sketchbook, he has no idea of the impact he would have on the Rylance family. They are still mourning the loss of their mom and comic artist dad is struggling to write his next graphic novel. Ethan is shouldering a lot of responsibilities from helping to take care of his younger sister who has Down’s Syndrome as well as illustrating a group project at school. Because of his dad, everyone just assumes that he is a talented artist but in reality, Ethan really hates drawing. Except maybe for stick figures.
Imagine Ethan’s surprise when he discovers an ink blot that is alive! Inkling helps Ethan first by sketching his illustrations and then giving him drawing lessons. Once Ethan’s dad discovers Inkling, he too feels revitalized and relies on Inkling to help him out of his creative slump. While Inkling is happy to assist, he knows that he needs to do something to help the whole family. Something that will help them all heal and remind them that the most important story of all is the one Ethan, his sister Sarah, and his dad create together as a family.
I just love Inkling’s relationship with Ethan. While he has friends, Ethan is lonely. His dad is so distant and Inkling provides that support that Ethan is craving. Although Inkling is drawing for Ethan, Ethan struggles with the fact that he is cheating and asks Inkling to teach him. When Inkling looks faint in color, Ethan tells him to stop working and brings him nourishment in the way of comics, newspapers, and books. An ink blot has to eat right? Inkling is a good cheerleader for Ethan. Recalling words and quotes from the stories he has read (and eaten), he boosts Ethan’s confidence.
Inkling tackles tough issues but gently and with care. Kids will be able to relate to Ethan and his challenges of finding his own path. Sydney Smith’s illustrations are also crucial to the plot. As a reader, I actually felt the presence of Inkling, for splots grace every page. And I never thought I would fall in love with a cute ink blot, but Kenneth Oppel’s characterization of Inkling will make it hard for you not to do the same.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I was born in Port Alberni, a mill town on Vancouver Island, British Columbia but spent the bulk of my childhood in Victoria, B.C. and on the opposite coast, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. At around twelve I decided I wanted to be a writer. I started out writing sci-fi epics then went on to swords and sorcery tales and then, during the summer holiday when I was fourteen, started on a humorous story about a boy addicted to video games. Photo credit: Mark Raynes Roberts
3 winners will win a finished copy of INKLING, US Only. Click the link below to enter.
Join us on the other stops of this tour for more giveaway chances and to read more about author Kenneth Oppel and INKLING.
11/19/2018- Twirling Book Princess– Excerpt
11/20/2018- Book-Keeping– Review
11/21/2018- A Dream Within A Dream– Excerpt
11/22/2018- All the Ups and Downs- Excerpt
11/23/2018- Lilly’s Book World– Review
11/26/2018- The Layaway Dragon– Review
11/27/2018- The Cover Contessa– Interview
11/28/2018- The Pages In-Between– Review
11/29/2018- Adventures Thru Wonderland- Review
11/30/2018- Oh Hey! Books.– Review