Early Chapter Book Fiction
Grade Level: 1-4
Published by Candlewick Press
Text Copyright © 2010 by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee
Illustrations © 2010 by Tony Fucile
2011 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award
Starred review in Publisher’s Weekly
Starred review in Kirkus Review
WHY BINK & GOLLIE IS A KEM GEM
Kate, Alison & Tony have struck gold! And like gold, it’s all about the chemistry between Bink & Gollie. There’s nothing more LOL than an ODD couple, especially when they journey into the essentials of every friendship: compromise, support and adventure.
I admire the way Tony has taken the unspoken, yet opaquely obvious dissimilarities between Bink & Gollie to an extreme by taking the time to illustrate even the finest details of a well placed hair bow or an untied shoe. The size, tidiness and gestures are in constant contradiction. Even the incidental characters leap from the page, both from the eager dialogue Kate and Alison have written as well as from the distant gaze, mouthfuls of popcorn or curled fins that are sketched. This early reader fiction will delight readers of all ages, at all times. And for this, I am certain, as even my nine and 11 year old admitted to their fondness of BINK & GOLLIE, and believe me, it’s not cool to admit you love a book your capabilities have exceeded, unless, it’s truly a GEM!
“It’s a compromise bonanza.”
While not catalogued in my library’s picture book section, the three stories in BINK & GOLLIE are picture books in the truest sense. Picture books celebrate a perfect marriage of image and text. Tony Fucile’s faux pen-and-ink illustrations don’t just give us these two loveable characters and their homes. They also carry us through scene changes (both real and imaginary), and all three times they complete the story with a wordless image.
While Fucile sets a high standard, McGhee and DiCamillo show they can keep up with the text’s witty back-and-forth dialogue. They rightfully leave all of the narration to Fucile’s linework and allow the girls’ personalities to shine through hilarious conversations.
“Hello Gollie,” said Bink.”Do I smell pancakes?”
“You do not,” said Gollie.
“Will I smell pancakes?” said Bink.
Sweet synergy! The magic in this book came in threes: three phenomenal friends created three subtly silly chapters for three times the fun.
BINK & GOLLIE delivers distinctive characters that reach out and grab hearts through intentionally sparse, yet plump and lively text. Fucile’s illustrations capture DiCamillo and McGhee’s real-life essence and charm–compatible and interesting, because they are different. They ARE BINK & GOLLIE in Fucile’s BINK & GOLLIE world. Fucile comes to life in the observant, scene-watching fish, Fred. We, the readers, can enter the pages through Fred, too, for a sweet, unpredictable ride.
DiCamillo and McGhee prove how the savviest writers leave ample room for the illustrator. Through trust, they were able to give BINK & GOLLIE more of themselves than they ever could have imagined.
“Fish know nothing of longing,” said Gollie.
“Some fish do,” said Bink. “Some fish long.”
Award-winning Disney and Pixar illustrator Tony Fucile helped bring LION KING, RATATOUILLE, and THE INCREDIBLES to life. Both DiCamillo and McGhee are New York Times best-selling authors; and McGhee, a Pulitzer Prize nominee.
2010 Minneapolis Star Tribune article featuring Bink & Gollie
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