Bink and Gollie: Best Friends Forever

Overview

All righty, then! Celebrate the tall and short of a marvelous friendship with a new Bink and Gollie adventure.

Gollie is quite sure she has royal blood in her veins, but can Bink survive her friend’s queenly airs — especially if pancakes are not part of the deal? Bink wonders what it would be like to be as tall as her friend, but how far will she stretch her luck to find out? And when Bink and Gollie long to get their picture into a book of record holders, where will they find ...

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Overview

All righty, then! Celebrate the tall and short of a marvelous friendship with a new Bink and Gollie adventure.

Gollie is quite sure she has royal blood in her veins, but can Bink survive her friend’s queenly airs — especially if pancakes are not part of the deal? Bink wonders what it would be like to be as tall as her friend, but how far will she stretch her luck to find out? And when Bink and Gollie long to get their picture into a book of record holders, where will they find the kudos they seek? Slapstick and sweetness, drollery and delight abound in this follow-up to the Geisel Award–winning, New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book Bink and Gollie, written by the beloved and best-selling Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee and brought to hilarious life by Tony Fucile.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
As in the previous books, the fresh, wry dialogue and Fucile's witty cartooning are as dynamic a pairing as Bink and Gollie themselves.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Publishers Weekly
In their third chapter book, Bink and Gollie remain as thick as thieves and just as prone to squabbling. In the first of three stories, Gollie discovers a photograph of a royal distant relative and immediately embraces her newfound regal bloodline ("I have long suspected that royal blood flowed in my veins," she muses), donning a crown, cape, and holier-than-thou expression. She soon learns it can be lonely as queen: when Gollie "regret to inform" pancakes-obsessed Bink that "royalty does not cook for others," Bink replies, "Okay. I regret to inform you that I am going home." In the second tale, Bink's desire to be taller leads her to order a highly dubious "Stretch-o-Matic" machine that promises "dramatic change," and in the third, the girls hatch a scheme to become world-record holders. Readers may recognize some aspects of their own close friendships in Bink and Gollie's odd-couple relationship, but these two remain true originals. As in the previous books, the fresh, wry dialogue and Fucile's witty cartooning are as dynamic a pairing as Bink and Gollie themselves. Ages 6–8. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Emily Griffin
These best friends are at it again. DiCamillo and McGhee have brought Bink & Gollie back for a third book, impeccably animated by Fucile's drawings. Three stories make up this early chapter book, laid out in the table of contents and divided by title pages. The first, "Empire of Enchantment," has Gollie becoming a little too big for her britches when she discovers an old photograph of a royal relative. Bink is not amused by Queen Gollie—who after surveying her lands (a road under construction, a neighbor planting onions, and the Eccles's general store) finds being Queen can be awfully lonely. The girls' next adventure, "Why Should You Be Shorter Than Your Friends?" sees Bink trying out the Acme Stretch-O-Matic in an attempt to grow taller. With the name Acme in the title, how could this project go wrong? But these friends always find creative ways of turning any situation around. Lastly, in "Kudos, Bink and Gollie," while reading in their tree house—Gollie a book of records and Bink a history of the pancake—they decide to start a collection that will earn them a spot in Flicker's Arcana. Should be easy. So they head down to Eccles' Empire of Enchantment. When their attempt to have the largest gold star sticker collection falls short, Bink and Gollie enlist the help of the elderly couple Mr. and Mrs. Eccles in getting their photo into Flicker's Arcana. This third edition to the series will not disappoint; Bink and Gollie's strong friendship continues despite their differences. The combination of slapstick and sly humor gives this series broad appeal. Readers will identify with their spats and appreciate how humor and creativity can get them through any situation. As with others in this series, Bink & Gollie: Best Friends Forever, will make for a great read aloud or for those starting to read chapter books independently. Reviewer: Emily Griffin
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—Bink and Gollie dream of royalty, fame, and stature in three amusing tales. In "Empire of Enchantment," Gollie is certain that queenly blood flows through her veins when she finds a picture of a regal aunt. She drives Bink crazy with all her airs. She sweeps through the streets complimenting the townsfolk on "their efforts on behalf of the empire." When it starts to rain, Gollie's snooty demeanor falters, and she's back to her old self. In the second story, Bink decides to get a Stretch-O-Matic since she is sick of being short and is sure that this device will do the trick. She is suspended from the ceiling in the complicated contraption when flabbergasted Gollie walks in. The whole thing comes crashing down, but Bink comes up with a creative way to fix the machine and feel tall at the same time. In "Kudos, Bink and Gollie," the friends decide to become famous by appearing in Flicker's Arcana of the Extraordinary, a Guinness Book of World Records-type compilation. Figuring that some sort of collection will land them in the book, they head off to Eccles' Empire of Enchantment. They buy 100 packages of 66 gold stickers each that they are sure is their ticket to fame. The plan doesn't pan out, but the clever duo comes up with a face-saving solution. The first story would make a fun read-aloud, as it lends itself to using alternately haughty and exasperated voices. All three stories feature Fucile's expressive and attitude-filled line drawings. Another humorous selection for those just beginning to dip into chapter books.—Diane McCabe, John Muir Elementary, Santa Monica, CA
Kirkus Reviews
Fans of Bink and Gollie will be pleased to welcome them back in three more humorous linked adventures that, as in their earlier appearances, play off their differences but ultimately affirm their mutual affection. First, Gollie has dreams of grandeur that don't impress Bink a bit--and don't quite work out as she hopes. Next, Bink succumbs to the siren song of an advertisement for an unusual device that promises to make her grow. It succeeds, after a fashion, but doesn't actually change the status quo. Finally, the two girls seek fame and glory through (relatively) traditional means but wind up deciding to use a different measure of success when their plans don't pan out. At the end, of course, they discover what readers already know: Friendship is the best prize of all. Fucile's digital artwork extends both the humor and the broad appeal. With wide-eyed, smiling characters, crisp black outlines and exaggerated details, they're reminiscent of (really good) old-fashioned Saturday-morning cartoons. They also offer lots of entertaining elements to linger over, including visual references to earlier exploits, clever use of color to keep the focus clearly on the two main characters and sly jokes to supplement the amusing wordplay. There may be no new ground broken, but there is still another bumper crop of fun to be had with these two BFFs. (Early reader. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763670924
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 3/11/2014
  • Series: Bink and Gollie Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 88
  • Sales rank: 110,021
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.30 (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. Kate DiCamillo 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. Alison McGhee 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 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

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