Saturday 16 June 2012

Bink and Gollie

Bink and Gollie, Two for One Bink and Gollie, Two for One by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile (Walker Books)
HC RRP $ 24.95
ISBN 9781406337396
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

The creators of Bink & Gollie have a list of successes behind them. From this band of highly talented people comes the second book about two best friends that are totally opposite in every way. One is tall, the other small. And that’s only where it begins.

They have fun all the time. They have their strengths and weaknesses, individual characters and tastes. Of the three comical stories in this book, the first, Whack a Duck, had me in stitches. The girls decide to go the spring fair. Bink wants to whack a duck of which the prize is the world’s largest doughnut. Three balls are on offer. The man tells her she’s got winner written all over her. Bink looks for the sign on her blouse. (Children take things literally which makes it even funnier)

She gets ready, lines the ball up and sends it flying – right between the man’s eyes breaking his glasses!  He’s a bit confused but hands over ball number two. Bink lines it up again and it flies faster than the first, right against his nose. With glasses bound and nose bandaged the man hands over the third ball. By now his words are jumbled and he’s cross-eyed. With a bandaged head, broken nose and glasses, Gollie hands Bink some money and off she goes to the doughnut stand. Bink returns with a bag full of doughnuts and they sit and share them together with the comforting thought from Gollie, ‘but we’re all still alive’.

Two more stories follow of equal enjoyment and laughter guaranteed: You’re Special aren’t You? and Without Question. The conversation/dialogue throughout the book is incredibly clever and entertaining. The illustrations, full of movement and expression, give a more potent translation to the text. The two together are priceless!

This book can make an adult laugh out loud. It has interesting and valuable themes running through them such as being different can be fun, and opposites attract. There is a lot for the adult reader to discuss with the young listener. It is produced with a hard, durable and attractive cover with vibrant colours which continue onto the end pages. It will most surely be available in paperback later as was the first book.

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