In this amply-illustrated easy reader, Bink and Gollie go to the State Fair, have some fiascos and learn their future from a fortune-teller: they will always be friends. That is all they need!
The book’s three short chapters feature brief text and plenty of comical illustrations: one about practical Bink; one about starry-eyed Gollie; one about them both, seeming-opposites who are forever-friends. Their personalities will resonate with youngsters as will the situations they get themselves into. Upon arriving at the fair, compact, active Bink wants to play Whack a Duck. This chapter has plenty of slapstick that will have children cracking-up. Bink’s windup is perfect but her aim is not so good. The vignettes of Bink and Gollie’s faces are remarkable: readers witness Bink and Gollie’s quick change from excitement to horror/disappointment each time Bink misses her intended target. Luckily Bink, with help from Gollie and some donuts, is quick to recover. The next chapter offers a more direct exploration of failure. Tall Gollie's big dream is to participate in the talent show but once on stage, no words come out. Her fear is conveyed in appropriately wordless full-page illustrations that zoom out to show her in front of a packed house. Later, Bink provides a stage and audience for Gollie so she has her moment in the spotlight.
Throughout, the art sets the pace, providing youngsters with the clues they need to decipher the text as well as opportunities to rest and enjoy the action as it unfolds. Readers will pore over the illustrations for delicious details, such as the fact that the girls are carelessly wearing buttons, one sporting ʺI Lost at Whack a Duck;” the other ʺI Participated in the Amateur Talent Show.ʺ They are as happy as can be when, in the final chapter they decide to have their fortunes told. Momentarily crushed when Madame Prunely reminds them of their losses, they rally when she tells them they will always be friends. With this, they charge back into the world.
Children who first met the duo in Bink and Gollie (recipient of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award) will find here an even more nuanced, satisfying depiction of their friendship. These two, compassionate and ever-supportive of each other, are sure to succeed in life and with young readers!
Reviewed by JMcD
THEMES: BEHAVIOR. BEST FRIENDS. EASY READERS. FEAR. GRAPHIC NOVELS. HUMOR. IDENTITY.
Candlewick Press, 2012
Suggested Ages: 6 to 9