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b 15799182Bink & Gollie: Best Friends Forever

by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee

Illust. by Tony Fucile

Candlewick Press, 2013.

I wrote this about the first book Bink & Gollie on Goodreads in 2010: “great words, fantastic illustrations, and a sweet friendship. and the daughter absolutely loved it (even at age 10).” The series is proving consistent, though I haven’t asked N what she’s thought of them of late. Best Friends Forever is the third collection of stories.

In “Empire of Enchantment,” the prospect of being royal goes to Gollie’s head and threatens the sort of give & take she and Bink have established. Gollie also finds being royal pretty lonely. The reader gets to see her also looking a bit ridiculous. Gollie is best when she is just being an ordinary extraordinary Gollie.

0763634972.int.1A spunky Bink struggles with who she is in “Why Should You Be Shorter Than Your Friends?” She has come to rely on Gollie being able to reach things, but it is an advertisement in the paper that really makes her question the “inequality” in their relationship. Really, Gollie doesn’t mind helping her friend, and she likes Bink the way she is—which includes some zany behavior. Bink works herself into a bind, and when the contraption explodes, it turns into a lovely piece of art.

In “Kudos, Bink and Gollie,” Gollie is perusing the first edition of Flickr’s Arcana, a collection of photographs boasting of people’s record-making collections. The two decide they’d like to appear in a future edition and figure out what they want to collect. Unfortunately, someone else has collected more and shows it off in a creative way that lands them in the book. They are disappointed, but are nevertheless gracious about it: Gollie says kudos to them, and Bink learns that kudos means congratulations. They are disappointed but find a solution that satisfies them both.

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The clean and energetic illustrations primarily in black and white with the kind of splash of color Bink and Gollie bring to the page. They’ve fun details, but there isn’t the sort of density for long text—and there isn’t a lot of text. Much of even what I describe of the stories is from strong inference. Children needn’t have these episodes spelled out for them and the experienced storytelling team knows this.

Bink & Gollie are a perfect series for young readers in early grade school. They deal in friendship issues, and each brief episode is genuinely entertaining. They also employee good vocabulary and in Bink & Gollie: Two for One dabble in mathematics. So you get the nutritious with a good dose of healthy sugars.

———-

of note: Bink & Gollie sorta look like the pair who wrote them in to existence: Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee respectively. I’m not going to make any more suppositions beyond this as to whether each echoes their characteristics as well.

Bink & Gollie website. which is a fun place to visit w/ your young readers.

{images are Tony Fucile’s and Candlewick’s, thank you.}

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