“Bibliophile’s Delight” from School Library Journal
“Inkheart (PG), a live-action movie based on Cornelia Funke’s best-selling novel (Scholastic, 2003), will be released in U.S. theaters on January 23, 2009. Presented by New Line Cinema, the film was directed by Iain Softley, with Funke on board as a producer. Unbeknownst to 12-year-old Meggie (Eliza Bennett), her father, Mo Folchart (Brendan Fraser), has an amazing ability: when he reads aloud from a book, he can make the people and objects mentioned in the pages come to life—literally.
Mo discovered this extraordinary power when Meggie was a baby. As he read aloud from a book called Inkheart, he inadvertently brought to life several of its characters, including a villain named Capricorn (Andy Serkis). However, when something is drawn out of a book, something else must go back and Meggie’s mother Resa (Sienna Guillory) disappeared into the story. After years of searching secondhand bookstores, Mo has finally located another copy of Inkheart, but his hopes to rescue Resa are soon thwarted by Capricorn, who seeks to use Mo’s abilities for his own evil purposes. As her father’s secrets come to light, Meggie finds herself embroiled in a dangerous adventure that introduces her to both real and magical individuals, tests her courage and ingenuity, and ultimately reveals her hidden abilities.
The cast also features Helen Mirren as Meggie’s great-aunt Elinor, a wealthy rare-book collector with a prickly personality; Paul Bettany as Dustfinger, an Inkheart character who will do anything to return home; and Rafi Gavron as Farid, a teenager lifted from the pages of 1001 Arabian Nights. Direct kids to the official Web site for appetite-whetting trailers, a music video performed by Bennett, and more. Downloads include an easy-to-print-out activity book packed with movie-themed puzzles and images.
Scholastic has published several companion titles with elegant covers that blend movie photos with deep jewel-toned backdrops, antique scrollwork, and swirling lines of text. A flashy action shot of Mo and Meggie on the run from danger adorns the cover of theMovie Storybook (K–Gr 5). Fittingly, the characters seem to be emerging from the pages of a large open volume, immediately drawing readers into the story’s premise. Illustrated with numerous film stills set on parchment-hued pages, the text provides a fast-paced retelling of the plot. Farid’s Story (Gr 1–4) tells how the character summoned from the Arabian desert adjusts to an unfamiliar world (“No slave drivers!…No sandstorms! No fleas!”) and comes to the aid of his newfound friends. Brief sentences, straightforward language, and film photos that provide visual clues make the text appropriate for beginning readers. The Movie Novelization (Gr 3–6) will satisfy youngsters who want a more in-depth retelling. The well-written narrative provides just the right mix of dialogue, detail, and action and competently re-creates the colorful personalities. Eight pages of film photos introduce the characters with a combination of posed and action shots.
Of course, you will want to check your shelves for copies of Cornelia Funke’s critically acclaimed novel, which has become a fantasy staple and word-of-mouth kid favorite. Scholastic has reissued Inkheart with an inviting movie tie-in cover—a montage of the characters and magical beasts set atop an open book—that will grab the eye of film fans. Make sure you also have copies of the other two titles in the recently completed trilogy, Inkspell (2005) andInkdeath (2008, all Scholastic). In addition, unabridged audio book versions of all three novels on compact disc are available from Random House Audio’s Listening Library.Inkheart is read aloud by Lynn Redgrave (2005), Inkspell by Brendan Fraser, andInkdeath by Allan Corduner (2008).
Young fans of both the books and movie will enjoy browsing several related Web sites, including the author’s site, “The World of Cornelia Funke”; “InkWeb: The Ultimate Fansite for Inkheart, Inkspell, and Inkdeath” ; and Scholastic’s Inkheart dedicated page. Librarians, teachers, and parents can search the Scholastic site for related lesson plans, discussion guides, author interviews, and more.
SANDER, Sonia. adapt. Inkheart: Movie Storybook. Jan. 2009. pap. $6.99. ISBN 978-0-545-00706-1.
HERMAN, Gail, adapt. Inkheart: Farid’s Story. Jan. 2009. pap. $3.99. ISBN 978-0-545-00710-8.
MASON, Jane & Sarah Hines-Stephens, adapts. Inkheart: Movie Novelization. Jan. 2009. pap. $5.99. ISBN 978-0-545-00709-2.
FUNKE, Cornelia. Inkheart. tr. by Anthea Bell. Movie Tie-in Edition. Jan. 2009. pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-0-545-04626-8.
_____. Inkheart. tr. by Anthea Bell. 2003. Tr. $24.99. ISBN 978-0-439-53164-1; pap. $8.99. ISBN 978-0-439-70910-1.
_____. Inkspell. tr. by Anthea Bell. 2005. Tr. $24.99. ISBN 978-0-439-55400-8; pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-0-439-55401-5.
_____. Inkdeath. tr. by Anthea Bell. 2008. Tr. $24.99. ISBN 978-0-439-86628-6.
ea vol: Scholastic.”