Two girls, different and yet the best of friends, hilarious adventures, crazy antics, you will laugh out loud and fall in love with Bink and Gollie. Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee teamed up to create a fabulous duo, perfect for beginning readers. After all, who wouldn’t laugh at the idea of giving a fish a pancake, right?
When Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee met, they quickly became friends – laughing along the way and discussing books. Soon, they were planning a book together and trading letters back and forth – good old fashioned pen pals! Read about how Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee created Bink and Gollie at the StarTribune. The chemistry between DiCamillo & McGhee is readily apparent in Bink and Gollie, who can get a tad annoyed with each other (seriously, those socks, Bink? yes, a fish is a marvelous companion, and no, I am not answering the door….I am in the Andes Mountains….but of course!) but ultimately, they remain the best of friends.
“‘Gollie,’ said Bink, ‘use your gray matter.
Don’t know you know that you are the most marvelous companion of all?’
‘Really?’ said Gollie.
‘Really,’ said Bink.”
The illustrations, by Tony Fucile, are such an integral part of the book that it is difficult to picture the words without Bink and Gollie, searching through a bin of colorful socks or planting a pole at the top of the Andes Mountains. Certain illustrations are mostly black and white, with carefully selected color for emphasis (a colorful bin of socks with a black and white sock sign, or a black and white movie theater full of people with Bink, Gollie, and a fishbowl with Fred in it, balanced precariously on Bink’s head in color) Some pages are wordless, letting Fucile’s images say everything that needs to be said. The layouts change with each page, sometimes one full picture, other times a page is broken into three pieces of a scene – reminiscent of story boarding. This adds to the interest and engagement with each page – the reader can’t help but want to turn the page and see what is next for these two girls! Bink and Gollie are captured perfectly through Fucile’s artwork, Bink’s crazy hair, energy, positive attitude and willingness to try new adventures, Gollie’s careful, organized and also nurturing nature, and the relationship between the two is simply charming. You can’t help but want to part of their child-centered world (no parents in these books to tell them no!). Their activities and antics are appealing and fun for all — roller-skating, climbing mountains in the Andes, gardening, these girls aren’t afraid of anything!
Finally, the language is inventive, surprising, and engaging. In a land filled with mostly boring and stilted books for beginning readers (I will never forget listening to a six-year-old reader put down a text-book company created “reader” and say “This book just doesn’t make any sense! The words don’t even go with the picture!” and really there was nothing I could say other than, yes, you’re right….a heart-breaking moment) — it is lovely to pick up an interesting book for emerging readers that doesn’t shy away from using words and phrases such as:
- marvelous companion
- gray matter
The language in Bink and Gollie will surprise, delight, engage, and young readers will beg for more of Bink and more of Gollie! Thank goodness there are two more Bink and Gollie books…..Bink and Gollie: Two for One (#2) and Bink & Gollie: Best Friends Forever (#3).
Fun Stuff & Activities for Bink & Gollie
Check out Bink and Gollie’s home page for fun activities, book info and teacher guides http://www.binkandgollie.com
Love Bink and Gollie? Please share? More Kate DiCamillo? Check out Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures!