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Page history last edited by RichiesPicks 14 years, 3 months ago

19 January 2010 BINK & GOLLIE by Kate DiCamillo, Alison McGhee, and Tony Fucile, ill. Candlewick, August 2010, 92p., ISBN: 978-0-7636-3266-3

"'Bink,' said Gollie, 'The brightness of those socks pains me.  I beg you not to purchase them.'
"'I can't wait to put them on,' said Bink."
"'I love socks,' said Bink.
"'Some socks are more lovable than others,' said Gollie."
I am seriously not a television person, but I am always hearing friends talking about this TV series or that one, and how they are waiting for the new season to arrive.  And now I know what they are talking about. 
I was quite disappointed when I reached the end of the first book in the upcoming new series that is being written for early readers by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee.  BINK & GOLLIE features two girl friends, one small (Bink) and the other one tall (Gollie) .  I'd had a great old time sitting in the Candlewick booth at ALA, reading the first episode in the BINK & GOLLIE series.  In writing for emerging readers, the authors succeed in creating stories that are fresh and snarky, subversive and sophisticated.  But now I have to wait a whole year to see the next episode!  That's terrible, because I could merrily devour episodes of Bink and Gollie one after another all day long -- they are that much fun.
"'Hello, Gollie,' said Bink.  'Do I smell pancakes'
"'You do not,' said Gollie.
"'Will I smell pancakes?' said Bink."
I like many things about what this talented trio is creating here.  Without the imposing visual borders of a graphic novel, they are, nevertheless, often fitting more than one scene on a page, providing a lot of action and story in 92 pages.  The two friends are -- at least in this first book -- pretty much in a world unto themselves.  The authors are also quite innovative -- given this format and audience -- in their adoption from reality shows of the use of asides, where -- in a break in the action -- each of the girls will talk to themselves and to the audience about their reaction to the behavior of the other:
"'The problem with Gollie,' said Bink, 'is that it's either Gollie's way, or the highway.'"
"'The problem with Bink,' said Gollie,' is her unwillingness to compromise.'"
Despite the issues that arise between the two girls, you can, in the end, really feel the bond that exists between the pair.
Illustrator Tony Fucile may be a relatively newbie when it comes to children's book illustrating, but he's got a mega-impressive background, having designed and animated characters in the films The Lion King, Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles.  Right off the bat, he does a great job of creating the pair of personas and bringing the two friends' attitudes to life. 
And I absolutely love how those socks Really Stand Out on the page so that you can so easily understand Gollie's ongoing issue with them.
This first episode won't be available until the fall, but it, too, is a Real Stand Out and well worth watching for.
Richie Partington, MLIS

Instructor, San Jose State University

School of Library and Information Science

FTC NOTICE: Richie receives free books from lots of publishers who hope he will Pick their books.  You can figure that any review was written after reading and dog-earring a free copy received.  Richie retains these review copies for his rereading pleasure and for use in his booktalks at schools and libraries.

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