Category Archives: Book Reviews for Moms

Camille reviews Invisible Inkling, by Emily Jenkins

I like Emily Jenkins’ books.  She’s a very good and funny author.  I like Toys Go Out and Invisible Inkling.  I like Invisible Inkling because it about an animal that is invisible, and I love invisible animals.

Invisible Inkling is a book about a boy named Hank.  He is a boy who found Invisible Inkling.  Invisible Inkling is an invisible animal who Hank found one day in his mother and father’s ice cream shop.  Invisible Inkling took a cone and ate it, but Hank thought, “What in the world is taking that cone!?  The cone is moving on its own!”  Then Invisible Inkling went for a walk, and so did Hank.  Hank went back to their apartment and went for a walk with one of their neighbor’s dogs.  While they were walking, the dog that they were walking kept on barking and barking at midair.  Then Invisible Inkling ran, and the dog ran after him.  That’s how Hank found the invisible animal.

Then he went to school with Invisible Inkling, and Invisible Inkling kept on jumping on people’s heads and hurting them.  People said, “Hank, stop putting things on top of our heads!”  Hank said, “Invisible Inkling, you have to go.”  At the end, finally Hank said, “OK, Invisible Inkling, you may stay,” because Invisible Inkling helped him.  There was a boy named Gilllicut at the school who was hurting Hank, so Invisible Inkling jumped on his head and hurt him, and Gillicut never went back to Hank ever again.

I think the part where Hank said no to Invisible Inkling was bad in the book, because he helped Hank.  I liked how Invisible Inkling jumped on people’s heads, and that he took the pizza away from Hank because he wanted cheesy goodness.  I think seven- and six-year-old kids would like this book.  Teenage kids, not really, because there’s a teenage girl in this book and she’s kind of coo-coo.  She wouldn’t let Hank touch any of her stuff, not even her helicopter book.

I would rate this book a 7 because I love invisible animals, but it wasn’t a really great book because I don’t like Gillicut because he scared me. Here is a video about Invisible Inkling that you can watch. It shows Emily Jenkins and Invisible Inkling, so you can hear how he sounds for real.

Thank you for reading my review!

Love, your friend Camille

NOTE FROM MOM:  This is a great book for kids like my daughter, whose reading skills sometimes surpass her ability (or maybe willingness) to relate to mature content.  The book is thematically written for young kids but is challenging for strong readers.  Emily Jenkins’ other books are among our favorites also.  Both kids love the Toys Go Out books (three in the series), and I recently read the adult book Mr. Posterior and the Genius Child, an entertaining book which I greatly enjoyed.  I related to Mr. Posterior on two levels:  from the viewpoint of the main character (Vanessa, a young girl growing up in the 70’s) and her mother, whose parental ambiguity is a timeless topic.  Check out Emily Jenkins’ site and try some of her books for both kids and adults:  http://emilyjenkins.com/index.html

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Mom Reviews The Moment, by Douglas Kennedy

Before discussing the book, I’d like to say that this particular author has a very impressive vocabulary.  I make it a habit of looking up words I don’t know, and I had to look up quite a few while reading this book.  Test yourself and let me know how many of these you got right. Answers will be at the bottom of the post.

impecunious:  a)  carefree, without regard  b) penniless, poor c) lacking sense

castellatus:  a)  cloud with small turrets b) of or relating to the baroque period c) percussion instrument

felucca:  a)  men’s hat b) a sailing vessel c) trim surrounding an arched doorway

bromide (in addition to a chemical compound, it is also):  a)  a caustic comment b) a trite saying c) a dubious remark

paroxysm:  a)  coincidental occurrence b)  atypical political viewpoint c) violent outburst

Now…on to the book.

When forced to make a quick but momentous decision, I often wonder afterwards how different my life would have been if I had chosen a different path.  Although this book explores several themes, the residue that is left…the point that I thought about after finishing the book…was the effect of hastily made decisions.  This theme always intrigues me, in part because I morbidly fear that I may be faced with a similar decision one day (swerve or stop?, or more seemingly innocuous decisions such as, let my kids go to the party or keep them home?) and make the wrong decision that ends in tragedy.  I think all parents have this fear to a certain extent.

This book explores that theme through romantic love.  The main character, Thomas, is a writer who is recently divorced.  A package arrives from Berlin which he assumes is from his former lover, and thus begins the flashback that encompasses most of the story.  Thomas goes off to Berlin to write a book, at which point the book explores communism, the Cold War, and all of the related issues in Germany during the late 1980’s.  Midway through, he meets and falls in love with Petra, and we learn how they ended up apart by the end of the story.

Although I enjoyed this book, it could have been edited significantly.  I had to rally about halfway through, because the author often said in 100 pages what could have been expressed in twenty.  For example, the romantic portion (which encompasses maybe 25% of the book) reiterated over and over:  I love her!  How can I love her so much?  I just do! It’s really great! I can’t wait to see her again!  over and over and over.  I get it, I don’t need to be pounded over the head.

BUT…if you can make it through the repetition in the first 70% of the book, the remaining 30% is worth the effort.  Finally at the end, the book provides intrigue, thought provocation, and..my most important benchmark…I couldn’t put it down.

On a scale of 1-10, I would rate this book a 7…if it were edited by 100-150 pages, it would be an 8.

Here are the answers to the quiz, how did you do?

impecunious:   b) penniless, poor

castellatus:  a)  cloud with small turrets

felucca:  b) a sailing vessel

bromide (in addition to a chemical compound, it is also):  b) a trite saying

paroxysm:  c) violent outburst

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