cover image Invisible Inkling

Invisible Inkling

Emily Jenkins, illus. by Harry Bliss. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $14.99 (160p) ISBN 978-0-06-180220-1

Hank Wolowitz isn't sure he can face fourth grade now that his best friend has moved away. But in Jenkins's (Toy Dance Party) thoughtfully grounded, gently kooky chapter book, Hank finds surprising new allies that help him deal with the pain of his loss and with a school bully. An ordinary day at Hank's family's Brooklyn ice cream shop becomes an unforgettable one when Hank reaches for a long-lost Lego propeller under the kitchen sink and discovers something soft, furry%E2%80%94and invisible. Turns out the creature is an invisible "bandapat" named Inkling from "the Peruvian Woods of Mystery." Or maybe Ukraine. When Hank saves Inkling from the neighbor's dog, the critter vows to repay the favor. Inkling's presence, along with his large appetite and hankering for squash, puts Hank in some humorous tight spots. Jenkins colors her mostly realistic tale with enough bits of mystery and silliness to hold readers' attention. Even those who don't know what to make of Inkling can appreciate that Hank's sentiments and actions always ring true. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 7%E2%80%9310. (May)