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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bink & Gollie: Best Friends Forever, written by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee and illustrated by Tony Fucile. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2013. $18.00 ages 5 and up

"The queen is thinking of paying you a visit, Bink," said Gollie.

"What queen?" said Bink.

"Queen Gollie," said Gollie.

"I'm not home," said Bink.

"Very well, then," said Gollie. "I shall go forth into my kingdom alone."

It's our third meeting and I am as entertained this time as I have been in  two previous encounters. Bink & Gollie are the best kind of friends; they may differ in opinion but they don't stay apart for too long. In the first of three chapters, Gollie finds out that she descends from royalty and she is pretty pumped to share the news with Bink, and with anyone else that might listen. Bink is not impressed. Less so when Gollie announces that since 'royalty does not cook for others', there will be no pancakes. Bummer! It doesn't take long for Gollie to realize that life without Bink by her side is not the life she wants.

In the second, Bink is fed up with being vertically challenged and she decides that the Stretch-O-Matic might be the ticket to a major change in her life. That's what the literature promises. It takes some careful consideration of the instructions, and then it is ready. Gollie is supportive, but apprehensive.

Finally, they are enticed by Flicker's Arcana of the Extraordinary and the world record holders included there. Collections are the theme. The two seek advice from Mr. and Mrs. Eccles, who have their own enticing Empire of Enchantment. All ideas fall flat, until Bink and Gollie deal with the fact that no one is going to come to take their picture for the Arcana. Ah well, they have a perfect solution!!!

Tony Fucile's love for these two is evident in their wide-eyed wonder at the world and their joy in being best friends forever. Creating digital images with black outlines, and using color to keep our attention fully on these two provides enjoyment for all who share their stories. Wonderful dialogue, filled with wise and witty wordplay ups the appeal for fans and for those new to their escapades.   

Impressive! I can't wait for their next book...

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