Monday, January 19, 2009

Review #12: Inkheart

Dad:  We just finished reading "Inkheart" by Cornelia Funke over many, many weeks.  I didn't know if we'd make it before the movie came out, but we did.
Gracie (age 8):  This is a book about a book.
Isaac (age 10):  Yeah.  It's a book about a book named Inkheart.
Dad:  Where did the title "Inkheart" come from?
Gracie:  Because the character Capricorn had a heart as black as ink.
Lily (age 5):  Capricorn is an evil guy.  Woo-ha-ha-ha!
Dad:  There are lots of black things out there.  She could have called this "Night-heart," or "Coal-heart."  Why is "Ink" appropriate for this story?
Gracie:  Because the story is about "books" and "words."  And books are written in ink!
Lily:  Boots are also black.
Dad: (laughing)  "Boot-heart" -- because Capricorn's heart was as black as... boots!
Gracie:  Basta is another really, really bad guy who works for Capricorn, but I think Basta is even worse than his master Capricorn.  He's always threatening people.  He loves to play with his knife.
Dad:  But when we got to the end of the story, you told me that you "had feelings for Basta."  Why?
Gracie:  Because.  He's one of my favorite characters.  I don't know why, I just really like him.
Isaac:  I like Dustfinger and Farid.  And the marten, Gwin, which is a weasel-like thing...
Gracie:  And the marten had horns!
Lily:  Dustfinger could play with fire and eat fire and breathe fire.
Dad:  In the story, where did all those characters come from?
Gracie:  Well, Meggie is a girl, and she is probably the main star.  Meggie and her father Mo could actually read things out of books.
Lily:  Stuff came out!  People and animals and stuff came out of the books.
Gracie:  Mo read Basta, Capricorn, Dustfinger, and the marten Gwin into our world.  But for them to come out of the Inkheart book, four things from our world had to go in.  Unfortunately Meggie's mother went into the book.  So did two cats and some sort of bug.  After that, Mo kept trying and trying to read Meggie's mother back out of the book.
Dad:  The "Inkheart" book in this story was just invented, but there were some characters that came out of real stories too...
Gracie:  Tinkerbell came out of "Peter Pan!"  And the tin soldier came from the tin soldier story!
Dad:  The Steadfast Tin Soldier...
Gracie:  He was a weakling.
Lily:  I've never seen a real fairy.  Because they are not alive.  I want to have a pet though.  But all the pets we had died.  Like our goldfishes.  And our hamster.  Our hamster did not have horns like Gwin.
Isaac:  Farid is from the "Arabian Nights."
Lily: (singing to the tune of the Aladdin song)  "A-ra-bian Niiiiii-ights!"
Gracie:  Capricorn tries to make Meggie read the Shadow out of the book.  The Shadow is something made out of ashes.
Lily:  The Shadow is a shadow who has bright red stars for eyes.
Gracie:  Meggie is very brave.  When Elinor is trying to describe Meggie, she says "Look at your girl up there, as brave as... as..." but she couldn't think of anyone to compare because Meggie was so brave!  Braver than all the other heroes.  Plus most other heroes were men.
Isaac:  Not Wonder Woman.
Gracie:  But Meggie was even braver than Wonder Woman.
Isaac:  Meggie said that she wished that she was in a book and the person reading it would think the story was so horrible that they would just shut the book and then she'd be back at her house.
Dad:  And think about it -- she really was in a book, this book in our hands, but she didn't know!
Gracie:  Daddy, Daddy!  Read Meggie out of her book!
Dad:  Meggie didn't know she was in a book any more than Dustfinger knew he was in a book inside this book.  Maybe we are in a book too and just don't know it.
Isaac:  If someone stopped reading our story, we would just freeze.  Freeze!
Lily:  Like this.  (Lily freezes)
Gracie:  Then we would die of freezing.
Isaac:  We are kind of in a story...  God is our author.  And our illustrator is God too.  Because He made us and because He knows everything that is going to happen.
Gracie:  We are in His world.
Isaac:  And He came into our story.
Gracie:  He was riding on a donkey.
Isaac:  No.  He came as a baby.
Gracie:  Well, Mary was riding on the donkey.
Dad:  The Bible says Jesus is the "author and perfecter of our faith."
Gracie:  It actually says that?  What did He write?
Dad:  Well for one thing, according to that verse, He writes our faith.
Gracie:  That's cool.
Dad:  So what do you guys think about going into a story that you wrote?
Gracie:  Yeah!!!
Isaac:  No - Ahgghh!
Dad:  Why are you freaking out?
Isaac:  I don't want to meet "Flame" -- he's freaky.  And his men.  And the king-goblin-thing that likes tacos.  And all the skeleton guys.
Dad:  So, that's a story you've written that you wouldn't want to go into?
Isaac:  There are two or three of them I wouldn't want to go into...
Lily:  My story is called "Mae" -- there's a baby who turns into a monster.  I would not want to see that.
Gracie:  And actually, I don't want to meet Skullface either!  I wonder if Skullface knows he's in my story?
Dad:  Now, we liked what the story Inkheart was about, but we also really liked the way she told the story.
Isaac:  Yeah, the words... like: "Light seeped like milk running through the darkness."
Dad:  That was my favorite line: "Pale light seeped from Capricorn's village like milky water running into the night."  Do you remember any other cool phrases?
Isaac:  The one about the window...
Dad:  Yeah, from the very beginning.
Isaac:  The rain sounded like small... creatures or something... walking across the window...  What was it?
Dad:  "Rain fell that night... like tiny fingers tapping on the windowpane."  I can think of another one that made you guys laugh a lot...  What did she say Fenoglio's eyebrows were like?
Gracie:  Caterpillars!
Isaac:  Fuzzy caterpillars crawling above his eyes!
Dad:  Okay - so we all know this book is being turned into a movie, and it is coming out soon...
Gracie:  I want to watch it!
Isaac:  I want to compare the movie to the book.
Dad:  There will probably be some changes that they'll make.
Gracie:  There probably won't be caterpillars stuck to his head.
Lily:  I know!  I know!  The movie is different because they added a giant mole!
Dad:  Uhhhhh....  Hah! - that's a different movie.  You are thinking of "City of Ember."
Lily:  Oh.
Dad:  I don't think this movie is going to have a giant mole.  Do you have any guesses whether you will like the book or the movie better?
Lily:  Well... the movie has pictures, but the book doesn't.
Gracie:  I want to see what Basta looks like - he's my favorite character!
Lily:  Daddy, I'm imagining the Shadow right now.
Gracie:  In my mind, Capricorn looks like the guy on "Deal or No Deal," but with white eyes.
Dad:  Will it make it more exciting seeing the movie after we've read the book?  Usually if we go to a movie, we just plop down, watch a show, and then it's over.  Or is it more fun spending weeks and weeks reading this book, living in the story?
Isaac:  Live in it.
Lily:  The book.
Gracie:  We get to live in a book?
Dad:  Do you think this story would be too scary for anyone?
Gracie:  Too scary for little tiny babies who are scared of people with knives.
Dad:  How about you, Lily - you're five.  Is there anything in this book that was too scary for you?
Lily:  No.  I'm five and a half years old.  I'm brave.  If I saw the Shadow in real life the way I imagine it... I wouldn't be scared.
Dad:  Should we warn people about the violence?  Do you think there are parents that wouldn't like the violence for their kids?
Gracie:  If they don't like the word "Execution" then they shouldn't read it.
Mom: (piping in)  Oh goodness!
Dad:  The story talks about violent actions done in the past, and the story contains the threat of violence, but we don't see actual violent harm done while we are reading the story itself.  Still, parents should probably be aware of that.
Gracie:  If you don't like people with knives, don't read the parts about Basta.
Isaac:  Lily fell asleep about 16 different times at the ends of the chapters.
Dad:  Yeah, Lily slept through a lot of this book actually.  Or played through it.  So it didn't really hold a five-year-old's attention very much.
Lily:  That's because we read it at nighttime!
Mom:  I have the same problem...
Isaac:  That's because Mom is old.
Mom:  What!
Gracie:  Hee hee hee hee!

superstitious Basta, by Gracie

Dustfinger teaching Farid fire tricks, by Gracie

Gwin the horned marten, by Isaac

Mo and Dustfinger behind the olive tree, hiding from Basta, Flatnose, and the hunting dogs, by Lily

the Shadow, by Lily

Update:  The managing editor of the "5 Minutes for Books" blog invited us to share our thoughts on the movie over at their site.  It's a great site that I've visited often.  Click here to read the Z-Kids' review of Inkheat the Movie!

Author: Cornelia Funke
Published, 2003: Chicken House
Like it? Find it


Carrie said...

I read this book a couple years back and absolutely LOVED it! My husband agreed that date night this week would be goingto see the movie and I'm quite excited! It's gonna be fun!

(P.S. I think this was one of your funniest posts yet.)

Shanna said...

I read this one a few months ago and I too LOVED it! I was so excited to learn that there is a movie coming out! As always, I love your reviews! Have a Great Day!

Anonymous said...

This one is my nephew's favorite but I have not yet read it. Considering the movie is on the way, I just may have to.

Great perspective on Isaac's drawing. Loved the fire tricks in Gracie's drawing and the shadow by Lily--really spooky! Hope I don't have bad dreams now!

ElizT said...

Having read your post I hope that you people come alive here, not those spooky characters.

Unknown said...

Thanks for linking up to Kids' Picks. I LOVED this review/interview.

How would y'all like to do a Books on Screen guest review for it?

I definitely want to have review it on 5 Minutes for Books, and I like your style! Email me if you're interested.

Anonymous said...

This book sounds great! I'm going to have to look it up! Hmmm. . . I wonder if my not-very-fond-of scary or intense scenes 4 1/2 year old would like this?

ibeeeg said...

Very cool review!
I really loved the Q&A style with your kids.

Anonymous said...

This was hysterical. I bet there's never a dull moment in your house.

Lynn said...

Thanks for the thorough review in the fun Q & A format, and great work on the illustrations! (Love your site, and Chicken Nugget Lemon Tooty... where in the world did that name come from?!).

R.G. said...

What a fun way to review books. I will be checking back often to see what other books you all loved. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Rebecca Gomez said...

Inkheart is one of my favorite books. Great review! I always enjoy reading all the kids' comments (and seeing their pictures too). They make me smile!

Shelley said...

After reading this post I did buy the book and I am loving it. Thanks for the review and the movie review too. The pictures for this review are particularly inspired. I think the z-kids take after z-dad. Definitely some artists in your house!