Inkling by Kenneth Oppel is a juvenile fiction book for about a fourth or fifth grader.
Ethan’s dad is a popular comic book writer, known for his Kren series. When a tragedy strikes his family, he gets stuck and just can’t seem to come up with anything new to draw. It’s been two years now and still he is stuck.
Ethan too is stuck; his group is depending on him to use his hereditary art skills for their own comic book project. But Ethan’s art skills are non-existent and his dad is no help at home, let alone with his homework.
When an ink-blot crawls out of Ethan’s dad’s sketchbook, the whole family will be influenced by not only it’s creativity but it’s honesty and inspiration.
I really enjoyed this book. I listened to the audio book, which was great, but I bet the physical book would be even better. I just loved Inkling. For an ink-blot, he had so much character and I just wished I could see him turning in to King Kong and knocking down biplanes.
As fun as Inkling is, this is really a story about a family that has lost its way. Ethan’s dad hasn’t coped with his wife’s death, which leaves Ethan to take care of himself and his down syndrome sister. Inkling helps to bring the family back together by giving each of them what they need most.
I also liked how Ethan tried to do better once he realized that Inkling’s help was like cheating. I liked how he came to this conclusion himself and that he tried to correct it by having Inkling teach him how to draw. I do, however, wish there was just smidgen more closure between Ethan’s dad and his publisher.
Inkling has been nominated for the 2019-2020 Black Eyed Susan Award and I think it could definitely be a contender. They’ve picked some really great books this year. This one gets 4.5 stars from me.
That’s all for now!