Bink and Gollie

( 14 )

Overview

A New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book of 2010
Winner of the 2011 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award

In a brilliant collaboration, best-selling authors Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, along with acclaimed illustrator Tony Fucile, introduce an outrageously funny pair of friends.

Meet Bink and Gollie, two precocious little girls — one tiny, one tall, and both utterly irrepressible. Setting out from their ...

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Overview

A New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book of 2010
Winner of the 2011 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award

In a brilliant collaboration, best-selling authors Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, along with acclaimed illustrator Tony Fucile, introduce an outrageously funny pair of friends.

Meet Bink and Gollie, two precocious little girls — one tiny, one tall, and both utterly irrepressible. Setting out from their super-deluxe tree house and powered by plenty of peanut butter (for Bink) and pancakes (for Gollie), they share three comical adventures involving painfully bright socks, an impromptu trek to the Andes, and a most unlikely marvelous companion. No matter where their roller skates take them, at the end of the day they will always be the very best of friends. Full of quick-witted repartee, this brainchild of Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo and award-winning author Alison McGhee is a hilarious ode to exuberance and camaraderie, imagination and adventure, brought to life through the delightfully kinetic images of Tony Fucile.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Bink and Gollie, if you haven't yet met them, are two energetic young girls who first appeared in the eponymous 2011 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award-winning hardcover. In their triple feature debut, Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo and award-winning author Alison McGhee sent them on three far-flung adventures including an exciting trip to the Andes. A chapter book favorite, now in trade paperback.

Brian Monahan

Publishers Weekly
Think Pippi Longstocking meets The Big Bang Theory, and you'll have a good idea of the mood and quirky heroines of this first entry in what promises to be a wholly original chapter book series. Gollie is reed thin, geeky, and archly judgmental; Bink is petite and down to earth. Like all best friends, they know each other too well and can't live without one another, and in three short adventures, they squabble about novelty socks ("The problem with Gollie," Bink observes, "is that it's either Gollie's way or the highway. My socks and I have chosen the highway"), personal boundaries, and pets ("I must inform you that you are giving a home to a truly unremarkable fish," says Gollie). The plots serve mostly as a framework for DiCamillo and McGhee's sharp, distinctly ungirly dialogue that makes every page feel like a breath of fresh air. And true to his background as an animator for Pixar and Disney, Fucile makes his inklike digital illustrations crackle with energy and sly humor--it's not surprising that the man who helped create The Incredibles' Edna Mode has made these two prickly personalities irresistible. Ages 6-9. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
If the world of children's books needed a young female version of "The Odd Couple," then this would be it. Gollie is tall, adventure-minded and judgmental. Bink is short, eager and full-throttle. Gollie lives in a treehouse. Bink lives in a house at the foot of the tree. Gollie is neat. Bink is untidy. But they both love roller skating—and each other. Their affection is evident in the cover art of this book. If only it were so evident inside. Three brief, heavily-illustrated, sparsely-written vignettes show the girls in action. Most problematic, from the standpoint of healthy friendship, is the first. Bink purchases a pair of long brightly-colored striped socks, which she adores. Gollie derides Bink's choice when they are in the store, then refuses to make pancakes for them until Bink removes her socks. A compromise is struck when Gollie brings half her pancakes to Bink, who removes one sock. But is such a compromise really necessary? (Or practical? How useful is one sock?) Notably, Bink does not wear the socks for the rest of this book, so Gollie seems to have won a complete, if superficial victory here over her tender-hearted friend. (Do keep your eyes peeled for a small cameo by one sock, but again it seems to reinforce the idea of Gollie's triumph.) The other stories are better. In the second, Gollie engages in an imaginative solo adventure as Bink periodically checks in with her. When Gollie reaches the summit of her mountain, the pair are reunited. In the third, Bink adopts a goldfish she names Fred. Gollie feels the fish is "unremarkable," but Bink is unswayed. She takes Fred everywhere with her. Unfortunately, goldfish bowls are breakable and not meant to be schlepped around on roller skates! Thankfully, quick-witted Gollie saves Fred's life (although environmentalists might have some concerns about her method for doing so). Readers may wonder—with a mix of enthusiasm and trepidation—what is next for this dynamic duo? Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—In three humorous interconnected stories, Gollie, a self-confident girl who lives in a fashionable, contemporary house, and Bink, her rumpled but lovable, impish friend, are adventure-seeking companions, each with her own strong will. In the first tale, Bink's outrageous socks offend Gollie's sartorial eye, but the two compromise for friendship's sake. The second story sends Gollie on an imagined climb up the Andes, shutting Bink out of the house until she arrives at the door with a sandwich, which they share on top of the "mountain." In the final episode, Gollie is jealous of Bink's new pet fish until Bink reassures her that no one can take her place. All three stories, written with short sentences, abundant dialogue, and some contemporary expressions, offer delightful portrayals of two headstrong characters who, despite their differences and idiosyncratic quirks, know the importance of true friendship. The delightful digitalized cartoon illustrations—mostly black and white, with color used for the two characters and in strategic splashes throughout—reinforce the humor of the text. Filled with movement, they successfully portray the protagonists' changing moods. Elementary listeners and readers will have no trouble relating to the two friends' antics and the bond they share.—Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, The Naples Players, FL
Kirkus Reviews
If James Marshall's George and Martha were not hippos and were both girls, they would be much like best friends Bink and Gollie in this charming early-reader series debut. Tall, quirkily formal Gollie says "Greetings"; the shorter, more casual Bink just says hello. Gollie uses words like "compromise" and "implore"; Bink needs to learn them fast to keep up. Three winsome short stories—"Don't You Need a New Pair of Socks?," "P.S. I'll Be Back Soon" and "Give a Fish a Home"—illustrate the eminently surmountable challenges to Bink and Gollie's friendship in rapid-fire dialogue that manages to be both witty and earnest. Fucile's terrific, cartoonish artwork is expressive and hilarious—black-and-white scratchy lines and washes that effectively use spot color to highlight, say, alarmingly hideous rainbow socks or the faint underwater orange of a freshly liberated pet goldfish. One favorite wordless spread shows Bink holding up her goldfish bowl at the movie theater so her fish-friend can see Mysteries of the Deep Blue Sea... seated next to a mortified Gollie. More, please! (Early reader. 6-8)
Sarah Ellis
The conversations in Bink and Gollie, written by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, provide the illustrator, Tony Fucile, with the foundations of a world he fleshes out to create a place both oddly particular and warmly familiar…Bink and Gollie are welcome human newcomers in a world of easy readers largely populated by animals. They join the ranks of George and Martha, Frog and Toad, Zelda and Ivy and all the other resilient pairs that celebrate the challenges and strengths of a great friendship.
—The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763632663
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 9/14/2010
  • Series: Bink and Gollie Series
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 286,774
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 310L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Kate DiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo is the author of The Magician’s Elephant, a New York Times bestseller; The Tale of Despereaux, which was awarded the Newbery Medal; Because of Winn-Dixie, a Newbery Honor book; and six books starring Mercy Watson, including the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride. She lives in Minneapolis.

Alison McGhee is the award-winning author of books for all ages, including Song of Middle C, illustrated by Scott Menchin; the #1 New York Times bestseller Someday, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds; the young adult novel All Rivers Flow to the Sea; and the adult novel Shadow Baby, a Today Show Book Club selection. She lives in Minnesota.

Tony Fucile is the author-illustrator of Let’s Do Nothing!, chosen as a Best Book of the Year by School Library Journal. He has spent more than twenty years designing and animating characters for numerous feature films, including Cars, The Lion King, Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

Biography

Kate DiCamillo was born in Philadelphia, moved to Florida's warmer climate when she was five years old, and landed in Minneapolis in her 20s.

While working at a children's bookstore, DiCamillo wrote her first novel, Because of Winn-Dixie (2000). It was inspired by one of the worst winters in Minnesota, when she became homesick for Florida after overhearing a little girl with a southern accent. One thing led to another, and soon DiCamillo had created the voice of Opal Buloni, a resilient ten-year-old girl who has just moved to a small town in Florida with her father. Opal's mother abandoned the family when she was three years old, and her father has a hard time explaining why.

Thoug her father is busy and she has no friends, Opal's life takes a turn for the better when she adopts a fun-loving stray dog, Winn-Dixie (named after the supermarket where she found him, out in the parking lot). With Winn-Dixie as her guide, Opal makes friends with the eccentric people of her new town and even convinces her father to talk about her mother. Through Opal, readers are given a gift: a funny and heartrending story of how one girl's spirit can change her life and others'. Critics loved the book as much as readers, and in 2001, Because of Winn-Dixie was named a Newbery Honor Book.

DiCamillo's second novel, The Tiger Rising (2001), also deals with the importance of friendships, families, and making changes. Twelve-year-old Rob Horton and his father are dealing with grief, anger, and isolation after moving to Lister, Florida, six months after Rob's mother succumbs to cancer. Rob's father has a job at a motel (where they both also live), but it barely pays the bills. Struggling through the loss of his mother, Rob stifles his many confusing emotions as he battles bullies at his new school, worries about a rash on his legs, and copes with living in poverty.

In many ways, The Tiger Rising is a darker, more challenging story than Because of Winn-Dixie, but there is a similar light of deliverance in this beautiful novel: the healing power of friendship. Two meetings change Rob's life. First, he encounters a caged lion in the woods. Shortly thereafter he meets Sistine, who has recently moved to Lister after her parents' divorce. Sistine and Rob are polar opposites -- she stands up to the school bullies and lets out every bit of her anger at her parents' divorce and her relocation. Through Sistine, Rob recognizes himself in the caged lion, and the story of how the two children free the beast is one of the most engaging reads in contemporary young adult fiction. With the lion free, Rob is free to grieve the loss of his mother and move on with his bittersweet new life in Lister. A National Book Award finalist, The Tiger Rising is hard to put down as it overflows with raw, engaging emotion.

In 2003, DiCamillo's third novel, The Tale of Despereaux, was released to the delight of readers and critics alike. This odd but enthralling fairy tale also touches on some of the topics from her first two novels -- parental abandonment and finding the courage to be yourself. The hero, Despereaux Tilling, is a mouse who has always been different from the rest of his family, and to make matters worse, he has broken a serious rule: interacting with humans, particularly Princess Pea, who captures his heart. When Despereaux finds himself in trouble with the mouse community, he is saddened to learn that his father will not defend him. Characters in the tale are Princess Pea, whose mother died after seeing a rat in her soup; King Pea, who, in his grief, declares that no soup may be served anywhere in the kingdom; Miggery Sow, a servant girl who dreams of being a princess after being sold into servitude by her father after her mother dies; and Roscuro, a villainous rat with a curious soup obsession.

The story of how the characters' paths cross makes The Tale of Despereaux an adventurous read, reminiscent of Grimm's fairy tales. In the spirit of love and forgiveness, Despereaux changes everyone's life, including his own. As the unnamed, witty narrator of the novel tells us, "Every action, reader, no matter how small, has a consequence." Kate DiCamillo's limitless imagination and her talent for emotional storytelling earned her one of the most prestigious honors a children's author can receive -- in 2004, she was awarded the Newbery Medal.

Good To Know

DiCamillo wrote The Tale of Despereaux for a friend's son, who had asked her to write a story for him about a hero with large ears.

In our interview, DiCamillo shared some other fun facts with us: :

"I can't cook and I'm always on the lookout for a free meal."

"I love dogs and I'm an aunt to a very bad dog named Henry."

"My first job was at McDonald's. I was overjoyed when I got a nickel raise."

"I'm a pretty boring person. I like reading. I like eating dinner out with friends. I like walking Henry. And I like to laugh."

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    1. Hometown:
      Minneapolis, Minnesota
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 25, 1964
    2. Place of Birth:
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English, University of Florida at Gainesville, 1987

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 3, 2011

    good sense of humor while teaching friendship and compromise

    This is an excellent new book by Kate DiCamillo A completely new book with new characters. I love the stories and the very smart writing! It is a great story of two very different girls who are friends that are very different personalities and get along very well. Use of great words. If you are looking for something different look at this!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2010

    Wonderful friendship tale!

    I've always been a fan of Kate DiCamillo's work, and I was not disappointed by this new book with Alison McGhee. The two main charachters -- Bink & Gollie -- are funny and entertaining. My boys laughed at several of the situations depicted and absolutely loved the fish! I highly recommend this book as it's fun to read to kids, as well as for kids to read on their own.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2013

    Lovable characters

    One of my 3 year old's favorite books. Told in short "chapters", this book is longer than most young children's books (recommended age is 6-8), but endearing enough to keep my little girl's attention throughout. And then she asks for more.

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  • Posted January 11, 2013

    Bink & Gollie is so fun for beginning readers!

    My daughter found BiNK & gollie books at her school library and loved the humor and the illustrations, as well as the fact that the reading level was just right for her! She's a first grader and enjoys reading, especially funny books. Loved it.

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  • Posted June 4, 2012

    This story, written like three smaller stories, is about two f



    This story, written like three smaller stories, is about two friends whose imagination allows them to enjoy their friendship and go on mini adventures together. The two are quite hilarious and caring at the same time.

    Bink, the younger of the two friends is full of wild notions and demands Gollie’s attention. Her energy is contagious throughout the pages. Even her appearance was energizing. Her hair stands in every direction and her mismatched clothes and socks set her as the comical character. Bink is the initiator, she always devising new plans and creates excitement in the most mundane occurrences such as buying a pair of socks.

    Gollie, on the other hand, is much more reserved. She is the mature one of the pair and appears more stable than Bink; She even looks after Bink in an older-sister sort of way. They make a great pair. Gollie is taller than Bink, has straight brown hair that is topped off cleanly with a bow. Her appearance, like Bink, suggests the type of character she is. Each girl has a real character flaw; Gollie is a tad controlling while Bink is stubborn. I was glad to see these characters in a children’s story because they were people I already knew and I’m sure children could relate to these qualities. I’ve worked in daycare, and I know children do NOT always get along.

    As for the plot, it was a laugh fest. From buying outrageous socks, climbing the Andes Mountains, and ice-skating with a goldfish, the two friends are impossibly hilarious. What I love about this story is that Bink and Gollie’s friendship isn’t just a wacky adventure all the time. They have their disagreements and real struggles.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2011

    Spunky, memorable, I wish there were more!

    I never write reviews, but this was such a hit that I felt compelled. I bought this for my 2.5 year old daughter, and she loved the stories. She could really get into the differences between the two characters, and she loved learning new words, like BONANZA! These are as much fun for me to read as for her to hear. I want more installments, please!!!

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