Bink and Gollie Hardcover – Sep 14 2010
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About the Author
Kate DiCamillo is the author of The Magician’s Elephant, a New York Times bestseller; The Tale of Despereaux, which was awarded the Newbery Medal; Because of Winn-Dixie, a Newbery Honor book; and six books starring Mercy Watson, including the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride. She lives in Minneapolis.
Alison McGhee is the award-winning author of books for all ages, including Song of Middle C, illustrated by Scott Menchin; the #1 New York Times bestseller Someday, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds; the young adult novel All Rivers Flow to the Sea; and the adult novel Shadow Baby, a Today Show Book Club selection. She lives in Minnesota.
Tony Fucile is the author-illustrator of Let’s Do Nothing!, chosen as a Best Book of the Year by School Library Journal. He has spent more than twenty years designing and animating characters for numerous feature films, including The Lion King, Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area.
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Top Customer Reviews
An adorable book suitable for children who are reading on their own but still want pictures and may find a page full of text daunting. While not to be confused as an easy reader (for ex. "Perhaps a compromise is in order. "), this beginning 3 chapters book could easily be called a picture book as well. Each page is fabulously illustrated and contains small blocks of text which will appeal to children of a wide age range.
This book contains three episodes in the life of Bink & Gollie, roller skating "marvelous companions" who live in separate tree houses of the same tree. Bink & Gollie each have their own distinct, unique personality and that is what makes this book so much fun. The dynamics between the two, the repartee, the differences in personality and the obvious closeness as friends make these girls two very special characters in the literary world. Mr. Fucile's illustrations capture the essence of Bink & Gollie and it is the combination of writing and illustrating that makes this duo so captivating. I was taken with them right away.
The first story introduces a pair of "outrageous" socks, the second an expedition to the Andes mountains and the third the purchase of a goldfish. While each is an individual story, the theme (and importance) of the socks is carried through the book unobtrusively in the illustrations. Now that the Mercy Watson series is finished I think that fans will be very happy to turn their attentions to Bink & Gollie, the first in what I've heard (no evidence yet) will prove to be a series.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The delightfully fun drawings of Tony Fucile are, IMHO, worthy of top billing in this short collection of three stories by popular children's authors Kate DiCamillo (The Tale of Despereaux and Because of Winn-Dixie) and Alison McGhee (Someday). I loved the black & white illustrations and the punches of color that drew the eye.
To my surprise, while I thought the writing was fine (though not stellar), I was less than enamored with the stories & the character of Gollie. The lovable Bink completely won me over, but Gollie? Not so much.
Story 1: Bink & Gollie go into a store where Bink buys some brightly striped socks. She loves them. Gollie does not. Later the girls "compromise" and Bink wears only one of the socks.
My thoughts: Why the heck does Bink have to stop wearing something she loves in order to ensure Gollie's friendship?
Story 2: Gollie is in her bedroom imagining a mountaineering trip and Bink is having some difficulty understanding the "Keep Out" signs on Gollie's door.
My thoughts: Wanting some time alone is understandable and I don't have any problem with it. But why was it only when Bink showed up with food that Gollie relented and let her in? Was she hungry?
Story 3: Bink buys a fish and is thrilled to death with it even though Gollie tells her it's a lousy pet. When the girls are roller skating together - along with the fish, who is in his bowl - Gollie quickly saves the fish when the bowl breaks.
My thoughts: Just how far were the girls from a house where they could have gotten a cup of water to put the fish in while they took it back home? Instead, Gollie "saves" the fish by putting it into a pond where, coincidentally, it will no longer compete with her for Bink's time. (Not to mention that, even though we see the fish beneath the ice in a drawing with the girls ice skating, in reality it probably would have died.)
Thinking I must be missing something, I gave it a second read when I was back at the bookstore a couple of days later. But my reaction was the same. Maybe I'm just being weird about these stories, interpreting them poorly or seeing things that simply aren't there. But I know the book isn't going into my collection. In addition, if I were Bink's mom, I think I'd tell her that she could do better in the best friend department.
So - 5 stars for Fucile's great artwork and for the adorable Bink (who I would love to see much more of); 2 stars for Gollie as portrayed in these pages. That averages out to 3.5 stars. I rounded up to 4 stars because of my admiration for many of DiCamillo's other stories and because my annoyance over the whole sock incident (seems minor, I know, but it just bugged me) may have colored my interpretation of Gollie's actions in the other two stories.
Two best friends, each very different, star in this collection of expertly written stories. Sparing use of color lends emphasis and draws the eye throughout the highly illustrated text. Tall, well-groomed Gollie plays a sort of Felix Unger to Bink's exuberant, irrepressible Oscar as they make their way around town. Much like Nate the Great, Gollie seems to have a craving for pancakes, while Bink's stout frame could be attributed to the numerous peanut butter sandwiches she always seems to be fixing for herself. Three little mini-adventures are included in the book. The two girls go roller-skating and end up shopping at a sock bonanza, Gollie goes adventuring in the Andes (sort of) and Bink purchases a goldfish to be her marvelous companion. When Bink makes the ill-advised move of taking her goldfish Fred out roller-skating, disaster ensues. Although Gollie has never been fond of Fred, she leaps into action, saving the day by relocating Fred to a nearby pond.
I must admit, I did feel a little pang of worry about that frozen fish in the pond on the final page. Bink and Gollie seem pleased though - they're confidently skating along, smiling, perhaps secure in the knowledge that the fish will thaw out in the spring? I think a lot of really great children's literature does that though... leaves you wondering and worrying about some small detail.
Bink and Gollie is a little tough to categorize. I nearly want to put in alongside beginning reader books like James Marshall's George and Martha, or Lobel's Frog and Toad, but the difficulty of some of the vocabulary would seem to preclude that. The small trim size has me leaning against saying this is a picture book, although, if it had been in a larger format, I might not have thought twice about putting it there. What decides me? Is this a book best enjoyed read-aloud or read to oneself? Ultimately, I have to say, despite the brevity of the text, and generousness of the illustrations, this appears to be a light, refreshing sorbet of an early chapter book.
Oh and I forgot to mention, next time I visited my nephew, he said "Greetings Boo E" ("Greetings" is how Bink and Gollie greet each other. Boo E is just what my nephew calls me.).
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