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Review: Bink and Gollie: Two for One by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee

Bink & Gollie: Two for One
By Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee

Illustrated by Tony Fucile

Candlewick Press

ISBN: 9780763632663
Grades K-2
In Stores

*Best New Book*

Find it at:
Schuler Books | Your Library

The cycle of book buzz is such that sequels often get the short end of the stick. There’s a “been there, done that” attitude that often results in sequels receiving fewer reviews and less talk. As well-known children’s literature pundit Jay-Z said, “On to the next one”. This seems to be the case with Bink & Gollie: Two for One, an excellent book that debuted fairly quietly back in June. The first time out, DiCamillo, McGhee, and Fucile knocked it out of the park, and this strong follow up is a book that deserves plenty of notice as well.

The state fair has come to town and friends Bink and Gollie are not going to miss it. Over the course of three interconnected short stories, we run the gamut of emotions, from humor to embarrassment, disappointment to hope. The spunky Bink tries to win the world’s biggest doughnut in a game of “whack the duck”. The level-headed Gollie tests her courage at a talent show. And in the final chapter, the duo visit a fortune teller, recapping their day at the fair and learning some comforting news about the future.

If you’ve read the first Bink & Gollie, you know it’s a tweener – part easy reader, part picture book. Same goes for this one. The interplay between text and illustration is outstanding – a testament to the talent of DiCamillo, McGhee, and Fucile, who’ve turned out a book that seems to have come from one mind, not three. The economical text is paired with artwork that isn’t afraid to carry the story. At times comical, at times poignant, Fuclie’s expressive artwork bursts with humor and emotional weight.

Like it’s predecessor, Two for One resides in a category all its own. Have you added it to your collection yet? I would hate for you to miss out.

Review copy from the library.

Also reviewed by Waking Brain Cells, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast,

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. My son will love this!

  2. I generally agree with your reviews, but we had this book show up at our house from amazon the day it came out and, I have to say, I was surprised at how quickly it fell out of the rotation and into the spot on our son’s bookshelf that it currently resides. Sadly, I agree with him, it just fell kind of flat… the stories just didn’t grab us, and there weren’t any of the catchy phrases that we would walk around repeating all the time. Sequels often disappoint, but with so much quality in the first book, I really expected a little more with this one.

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