Bink and Gollie by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee
Ill. by Tony Fucile. Walker Books, 2010. ISBN 9781406329681.
(Age 6-8) Recommended. Bink, short and exuberant and Gollie, tall and thin, are the best of friends, although they like different things. Bink loves goldfish and brightly coloured socks, and Gollie likes to use long words like 'bonanza' and 'compromise' and to dream about travel. She hates Bink's new socks. They do have one thing in common - they both love to roller-skate.
Told in three chapters where they share different adventures, the story of the Bink and Gollie's friendship evolves. The humour of the story stands out as Bink insists on wearing her outrageously bright socks and Gollie ventures out to conquer the Andes Mountains. The vocabulary may be demanding for a beginning reader, who would however relish new words after the story was read aloud.
Tony Fucile's cartoon-like characters are a delight and add to the humour and depth of the story. Bink's hair stands on end and she is so full of life. Her little pleated skirt is gorgeous, as is the little tongue that hangs out when she is concentrating. Golli's more reserved character also comes alive as she plans adventures and saves the life of Fred the goldfish. The expressions on the faces of both girls are exquisite and really show how they are feeling.
The themes of friendship, compromise, adventure and imagination, are all wrapped up in a story that is entertaining and thought-provoking.
Bink and Gollie was a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book for 2010 and won The Geisel Award for the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States during the preceding year