Bink & Gollie by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee

bink-and-gollieCindy: I can’t decide what I like more about this book, the text or the illustrations! Does it really matter? This is a delightful whole. I have said that my favorite kind of book is one that makes me laugh, cry, and think, and leaves me wondering what the characters are going to do next. Bink & Gollie (Candlewick, 2010) nails that description of my favorite book. Here we have two close friends who have their differences but that enjoy each other’s company…most of the time. The three loosely connected stories illustrate that in all worthwhile friendships there is unbridled joy (“I long for speed.”), disagreement (“Some socks are more lovable than others.”), jealousy, compassion, and finally, understanding. There are no parents in the picture here, or siblings, just a tight focus on two friends who live in separate houses, Bink’s at the base of a tree, and Gollie’s sleek condo of a treehouse high in the branches. There are page after page of witty and winsome surprises here in words and drawings and repeated readings will reap new treasures as Bink and Gollie discover their most perfect “marvelous companion.”

When I gaze through the stacks of 2010 books in my living room and point to my favorites, I will definitely land on this one. I want a sequel.

“The finger has spoken.”

Lynn: The focus group and I fell in love with Bink & Gollie the moment we unpacked the galley. Three separate stories chronicle episodes that not only made us laugh but made us feel as if we had known these two friends forever. The book is wonderfully designed for beginning readers with lots of white space on the pages and bold text that stands out with excellent contextual clues. Tony Fucile’s charming illustrations provide additional support for understanding but also reveal volumes about the two character’s distinct personalities. This wonderful book opens so many doors for discussions with young readers! We can’t wait for more stories!

I have to admit that meeting Bink & Gollie was a little bit like coming face to face with myself and Cindy if the heights were reversed! Tousled Bink is exuberant, outgoing and impulsive. Gollie, reserved, compulsive and tidy, shares my need to journey. I will say that I am more likely to be the one wearing bright socks and acquiring pets and Cindy to be making pancakes but otherwise the similarity is scary!

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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