Page 177. " But Mo had already picked up another book: Tales from the Thousand and One Nights "


Sinbad the sailor
Public DomainSinbad the sailor

The Thousand and One Nights, also known as "Arabian Nights", is an ancient collection of middle eastern stories, folk tales and fairy tales which has been translated into many different languages across the world. It is yet another example of a story within a story- the "framing story" tells the tale of a young woman called Scheherezade (Pronounced Sha-HAR-e-zad) who is married to an unhappy Sultan who kills all his wives the morning after he marries them. To try and stay alive, she begins to tell him a story the night they are married, but does not finish it, and forces him to postpone her execution in order to hear the end. This carries on for one thousand nights until finally the Sultan realises he is in love with her, and pardons her.


During those thousand nights, Scheherezade gets through a lot of stories, and translators have added even more to the story. Some of the most famous nights (mostly added in translation) are Sinbad the Sailor, Aladdin and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.

Page 179. " He pointed to the book that Mo had just laid aside "

Meggie is afraid of Long John Silver, Treasure Island's terrifying one legged pirate antagonist- and for good reason!

Long John Silver
Public DomainLong John Silver


Page 182. " There was nothing but Mo's voice and the pictures forming in their minds from the letters on the page "

The author, Cornelia Funke, has often said that she imagines Mo's voice to be exactly like that of the actor Brendan Fraser, and it's Fraser who plays Mo in the Inkheart movie. To listen to the voice that Funke based Mo's reading on, here's a clip from an interview about the Inkheart movie.

Page 194. " What follows it is not well that thou shouldst see "

Mowgli Jungle book Y
Public DomainMowgli Jungle book Y
The Jungle Book was originally a book by author Rudyard Kipling, but you probably know it better from the Disney adaptation in 1964. In fact, almost every Disney classic is based on an older book or fairy tale, with the Lion King being the first story they claimed was completely original (although even this is debateable!) Sometimes the adaptations are very similar to the orginals, with stories like Snow White and the Seven Dwarves or Cinderella only undergoing minor changes. However, others have had a lot of changes made, mostly to make these often dark and gruesome fairy tales into pleasant, happy animated movies that Disney thought would be more suitable for modern children.

There is a near-comprehensive list of links to original Disney fairy tales here, and the original text of the Jungle Book (or, more accurately, Jungle Books) can be found onProject Gutenberg.

Page 194. " towards evening there was pasta smelling of fresh rosemary "

Here's one of many recipes for pasta with rosemary- this uses spaghetti, but you can replace that with the pasta shape of your choice.