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Friday, July 6, 2012

Bink & Gollie: Two for One, written by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee and illustrated by Tony Fucile. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2012. $18.00 ages 5 and up

""Uh-oh," said Gollie.
"Did I win?" said Bink.
"Whack something?" said the
duck man. "Win something?"
"I fear this can only end in
tragedy," said Gollie.
"Did I win?" said Bink.
"Oh, Bink," said Gollie.
"There are no winners here."

Oh, I was aching to see these two! Ever since I knew that there would be a second book about Bink and Gollie, I have waited with bated breath. Can they do it again? The first one remains a staple on every list I make of  'great books for great kids'. Now, I will add this sequel! I do it with great joy to be in their presence again. What a treat!

Another three wondrous stories, laden with droll comedy and a pair of mismatched bosom buddies who stick together through thick and thin, duck whacking, barker bonking, and even setting it all right again. Now, when it comes to the talent show, Gollie is sure she can do it; Bink is apprehensive, but supportive. Bink's antics as she sits alongside the judge are gut-busting. She is full of pride and excitement when Gollie takes her place on stage, full of sympathy when Gollie cannot perform and willing to wait until Gollie gets her groove back in the farm animal enclosure. Then, it's on to souvenirs and they are personality-matching perfect. A chipmunk balloon, a crown and scepter...what do you think? Bink is looking for a ripping ride; Gollie seems distracted by Destiny...the fortune teller's promise if they step right up.

Perfect...once more! Not one word too long, every single word chosen with great care, stories told brilliantly and begging to be read over and over.

Tony Fucile does the same thing with his digital illustrations, bringing these tried-and-true friends to glorious life all over again. He infuses the pages with just the right expressions, eye-catching detail and a perfect place for two friends to explore. There is a gentle humor here, and memorable scenes that include the final one showing that the fireworks and joys of the state fair have nothing on true friendship!

Here's another book that makes young readers sit up and sing with the joy of reading. Welcome back, ladies! I cannot wait long to see you next time.

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