Great Illustrated Books

Bink & Gollie: Two for One

By Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee

Candlewick Press, 2012
Pages : 96
Suggested Ages: 6 to 9
ISBN: 9780763633615

In this amply-illustrated easy reader, Bink and Gollie go to the State Fair, have some fiascos and learn their future from a fortune-teller: they will always be friends. That is all they need!

The book's three short chapters feature brief text and plenty of comical illustrations: one about practical Bink; one about starry-eyed Gollie; one about them both, seeming-opposites who are forever-friends. Their personalities will resonate with youngsters as will the situations they get themselves into. Upon arriving at the fair, compact, active Bink wants to play Whack a Duck. This chapter has plenty of slapstick that will have children cracking-up. Bink's windup is perfect but her aim is not so good. The vignettes of Bink and Gollie's faces are remarkable: readers witness Bink and Gollie's quick change from excitement to horror/disappointment each time Bink misses her intended target. Luckily Bink, with help from Gollie and some donuts, is quick to recover. The next chapter offers a more direct exploration of failure. Tall Gollie's big dream is to participate in the talent show but once on stage, no words come out. Her fear is conveyed in appropriately wordless full-page illustrations that zoom out to show her in front of a packed house. Later, Bink provides a stage and audience for Gollie so she has her moment in the spotlight.

Throughout, the art sets the pace, providing youngsters with the clues they need to decipher the text as well as opportunities to rest and enjoy the action as it unfolds. Readers will pore over the illustrations for delicious details, such as the fact that the girls are carelessly wearing buttons, one sporting �_I Lost at Whack a Duck;" the other �_I Participated in the Amateur Talent Show.�_ They are as happy as can be when, in the final chapter they decide to have their fortunes told. Momentarily crushed when Madame Prunely reminds them of their losses, they rally when she tells them they will always be friends. With this, they charge back into the world.

Children who first met the duo in Bink and Gollie (recipient of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award) will find here an even more nuanced, satisfying depiction of their friendship. These two, compassionate and ever-supportive of each other, are sure to succeed in life and with young readers!

Reviewed by : JMcD


If you love this book, then try:

DiCamillo, Kate. Mercy Watson: Princess in Disguise. Candlewick, 2010.ISBN-13: 978-0763649517.

DiCamillo, Kate. Louise, The Adventures of a Chicken. HarperCollins, 2008. ISBN-13: 978-0060755546.

DiCamillo, Kate, Alison McGhee. Bink and Gollie. Candlewick, 2012. ISBN-13: 978-0763659547.

Emmett, Jonathan. The Princess and the Pig. Walker Children's, 2011. ISBN-13: 978-0802723345.

Henkes, Kevin. Penny and Her Song. Greenwillow Books, 2012. ISBN-13: 978-0062081957.

Joyce, William. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2012. ISBN-13: 978-1442457027

Lin, Grace. Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same. LB Kids, 2011. ISBN-13: 978-0316024532.

Pope Osborne, Mary. A Perfect Time for Pandas. Random House Children's Books, 2012. ISBN-13: 978-0375868269.

Viorst, Judith. Lulu and the Brontosaurus. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2012. ISBN-13: 978-14169999621.

Critics have said

Short, compact sentences make this book an ideal selection for beginning readers... Fucile employs an economical use of sketchy lines and splashes of color to capture facial expressions and emotions with spot-on accuracy. His artwork goes a long way in making this title the funny, touching book that it is. It would be no surprise if Bink and Gollie were to join the likes of Elephant and Piggie and Frog and Toad in the ranks of favorite friend duos.
School Library Journal
B&G again hit that sweet spot where picture books, graphic novels, and early readers converge... The book follows a satisfying trajectory from the first story's slapstick through the second's pathos to conclude with the affirmation of friendship in the third, and the blend of humor and sympathetic warmth buoys the story throughout. This endearing partnership remains a treat to follow, and readers will be as delighted as Bink and Gollie about the fortune-teller-certified long-term soundness of their friendship.
The Bulletin of the Center for Children
Another welcome sequel...illustrated with zany energy. Here the mismatched best friends compete at the state fair to win a large doughnut, "nature's most perfect food," and together "travel the darkened path" to a gypsy tent, where a wizened Madame Prunely gives them a lovely glimpse of the future.
The Wall Street Journal
Fucile's lively artwork and detailed cartoon-style drawings, in combination with DiCamillo and McGhee's simple, droll words, are spot-on when it comes to depicting humorous and sympathetic moments, and they excel in highlighting the great joys of best friendship. Kids will be left eagerly anticipating the further adventures of this unlikely���and completely charming���duo.