Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bink and Gollie, by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee (ages 4 - 8)

Some of the best friendships I've known are with friends who are really different from me.A wonderful new picture book for early readers celebrates this type of friendship: Bink and Gollie, by the wonderful trio of Kate DiCamillo, Alison McGhee and Tony Fusile.
Bink and Gollie (Junior Library Guild Selection (Candlewick Press))Bink and Gollie
written by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee
illustrated by Tony Fusile
NY: Candlewick, 2010
ages 4 - 8
Winner of the 2011 Theodore Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished early reading book.
available on Amazon and at your local library
Roller skating around town, these friends embark on different adventures together in three short illustrated chapters. Bink is small and a bit feisty, as she is determined to find a fun new pair of socks. Gollie is tall and lanky, and seems a bit almost aloof as she tries to be the steady, grounded friend. And yet Gollie has her fanciful side as well, as she takes an imaginary trip mountain climbing to the Andes. The two balance each other perfectly, always coming back to each other and providing comfort and friendship.

While DiCamillo and McGhee have written this as an early reader, they have had fun sprinkling in some longer, fun words like “outrageous”, “implore”, and “marvelous”. I found that it worked best to read aloud with my new reader first; she was so charmed by the story, that she quickly learned these longer words. Kate DiCamillo is the author of such favorites as the Mercy Watson series of early readers, Because of Winn-Dixie, and The Tale of Despereaux. She has remarkable versatility, both showing characters emotions and creating humor that children really enjoy. Alison McGhee is the author of picture books for young children, such as Someday and Little Boy.

Tony Fucile’s illustrations sparkle with the distinct personality of each friend. On one hand, they seem simple with pen and black ink, splashed with occasional color. And yet there is great character development and setting in his illustrations, that draw young readers in, help give them a sense of these two friends, and convey the quirky humor of the story. I loved Fucile's picture book Let's Do Nothing! and look forward to seeing many more books for children.

Have fun watching this book trailer to get a preview of the book:

For more about Bink and Gollie, read this article in the Star Tribune, from Minnesota (where both DiCamillo and McGhee live) about how these two authors created this story together. The review in the New York Times, and the review on Fuse #8 at the School Library Journal are also fun. I especially enjoyed Carol Rasco's review for the way she focused on Tony Fucile's artwork

The review copy came from my local library. If you make an Amazon purchase using the links on this page, a small portion will go to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you). Thank you for your support!


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