Review: Bink & Gollie by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee
It’s about time.
Henry and Mudge, Mr. Putter and Tabby, Frog and Toad – great pairs all, but young readers are due for a new duo. Here it is. Wholly engaging and immensely creative, Bink & Gollie joins the club. This is first purchase material, folks. Bound to be one of the most beloved children’s books of 2010.
The short, boisterous Bink and the tall, refined Gollie are complete opposites and best friends. Over the course of three stories, we come to know them through their adventures â€“ both commonplace and imaginatively grand. Themes of compromise, jealousy, and friendship are handled with a wonderfully subtle touch. There is a particular mix of humor and authentic emotion that endears book to reader, and Bink & Gollie has it â€“ the depth of feeling is impressive. The pair are unabashedly themselves, and kids will root for them and their friendship.
While it most closely resembles an easy reader in height, width, and thickness, Bink & Gollie is a bit larger in all those categories than your typical Henry and Mudge. This is appropriate, since its length (longer), layout (more picture book-like), and vocabulary (more advanced) are a bit different than most of the books in this category.
The digital illustrations are essential. Mostly black and white with splashes of color, they depict a quiet, parentless world. Fucile deftly brings life to the text.
An odd couple for the 21st century, Bink and Gollie will circulate like mad, winning new fans at every stop.
Review copy from library.
Watch the Bink & Gollie book trailer:
Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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