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Invisible Inkling: Dangerous Pumpkins

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Overview

It’s Halloween in Emily Jenkins’s Dangerous Pumpkins, the second title in the chapter-book series about a Brooklyn fourth grader and his invisible furry pal.

Hank Wolowitz hates Halloween. Every year his older sister, Nadia, scares him half to death. But Hank’s invisible bandapat, Inkling, loves Halloween. Pumpkins are his favorite food. Hank has serious trouble stopping Inkling from devouring every jack-o’-lantern in their neighborhood, including the ones his sister carves. And...

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Invisible Inkling: Dangerous Pumpkins

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Overview

It’s Halloween in Emily Jenkins’s Dangerous Pumpkins, the second title in the chapter-book series about a Brooklyn fourth grader and his invisible furry pal.

Hank Wolowitz hates Halloween. Every year his older sister, Nadia, scares him half to death. But Hank’s invisible bandapat, Inkling, loves Halloween. Pumpkins are his favorite food. Hank has serious trouble stopping Inkling from devouring every jack-o’-lantern in their neighborhood, including the ones his sister carves. And that’s not his only problem: Will he ever figure out a cool costume? Will he finally get to pick the holiday flavor in his family’s ice-cream shop? Will Hank ever get revenge on Nadia?

Kids will love Hank and Inkling’s latest adventure, illustrated by acclaimed artist Harry Bliss.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
“The Halloween details, from giant eyeballs to black spiderwebs, in Bliss’ wry, spot drawings add to the farce, and kids will appreciate both the conflicts and Hank’s warm bond with his bossy sidekick.”
The Horn Book
“Jenkins’s chapter book fantasy, with its strong sense of place and realistic family dynamic, will have new readers wishing for an invisible pal of their own. Bliss’s droll illustrations allow readers to see Inkling in all his furry glory, even when the characters in the book do not.”
Kirkus Reviews
Brooklyn fourth-grader Hank Wolowitz faces his worst Halloween ever when his invisible friend, Inkling, discovers that pumpkins are his favorite kind of food. It's hard enough to keep the bandapat in the laundry basket a secret from his parents, his sister, Nadia, his downstairs neighbor Chin and his classmates. Just keeping him fed takes all the pay from his job at the family ice-cream parlor, and he's had to invent a top-secret project to explain all the squash he's been buying. When Inkling goes bananas and chews up Nadia's artwork--four intricately carved pumpkins--Hank takes the blame for the violence. Worse, although his father had promised to use one of his ideas for their special Halloween ice-cream flavor this year, they are advertising his sister's stupid candy crunch. Finally, he has no one to go trick-or-treating with. Hank's first-person narration is appropriately self-pitying. But while his unseen pet can cause trouble, the bandapat also helps. Gentle humor and a realistic urban setting add interest to this solid middle-grade read. Unlike Hank, readers can actually see the bandapat in Bliss' gray-scale cartoons. (Final art not seen.) Events of the first book (Invisible Inkling, 2011) are summarized early on, and Jenkins introduces her characters and the situation so smoothly that readers can easily start here. Appealing any time of the year. (Fantasy. 7-10)
The Horn Book Magazine
A perfect choice for an early school year read-aloud: straightforward, zippy plot, likable characters, and believable family. And its last line is exactly what second and third graders love to read: ‘Anything could happen next.’
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—Readers who got to know Hank Wolowitz in Invisible Inkling (HarperCollins, 2011) will be glad to have him back. He is a typical fourth grader living in a cozy Brooklyn neighborhood: his parents run the local ice-cream shop; his teenage sister, Nadia, is kind of a pain; and an invisible bandapat named Inkling lives in his laundry basket. Halloween is fast approaching, and Hank longs to invent this year's special ice-cream flavor. Unfortunately, bandapats love squash, and Inkling just can't help but eat Nadia's carefully carved masterpieces before she can enter them in the Dangerous Pumpkins contest at school. Taking the blame time and time again for Inkling's high jinks, Hank finds himself in trouble and lonely, having offended all of his friends and family members. It looks as if he won't even have the chance to go trick-or-treating this year. In the end, he makes up with his loved ones and finally invents an ice-cream flavor-all thanks to Inkling. Occasional pencil drawings add extra details and personality to the story. Strong family dynamics, a lovable cast of characters, and an invisible bandapat who doesn't quit will have readers of short chapter books looking forward to the next title in this series.—Amanda Struckmeyer, Middleton Public Library, Madison, WI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061802232
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/24/2012
  • Series: Invisible Inkling Series
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 478,928
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 520L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.82 (w) x 7.88 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Emily Jenkins is the author of two previous books about Hank and Inkling. She also wrote the chapter books Toys Go Out, Toy Dance Party, and Toys Come Home, plus a lot of picture books, including Lemonade in Winter, That New Animal, and Skunkdog. She bakes excellent pumpkin bread and, when swimming, wears a purple swim cap and blue goggles.

Harry Bliss is the New York Times bestselling artist of Diary of a Worm, Diary of a Spider, and Diary of a Fly, by Doreen Cronin; A Fine, Fine School by Sharon Creech; and Which Would You Rather Be? by William Steig. He is also an award-winning, internationally syndicated cartoonist and a cover artist for the New Yorker magazine. He lives in Vermont with his son.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This is a fun Halloween read. Hank has an invisible, very real,

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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