The first chapter of this book is the absolute best combination of illustrator and author magic I have ever encountered…and I’ve been reading for a long time. The pictures are hilarious and painful …the text is hopeful and endearing. Bink wants to play Whack-a-Duck at the town carnival, and she just can’t hit her mark…but she can hit the Whack-a-Duck barker. ..repeatedly. His pain, her enthusiasm, Gollie’s sensitivity to both…oh my goodness…it’s pure magic.
The second chapter is a sweet tale of Gollie’s attempt to perform in the carnival’s talent show…and her subsequent cold feet. This time, Bink comes to the rescue with words of innocence and friendship. The visual perspective that illustrator Tony Fucile displays in this chapter complements Gollie’s fear and Bink’s reassurance perfectly.
In the final chapter, the two friends visit the carnival fortune teller. Gollie seeks to know her destiny, but Bink just wants to know if they’ll be together in the future. Once the elderly oracle has envisioned the two of them together, Bink is certain that’s all she needs to know. The floating chipmunk balloon that appears to be glancing in to the crystal ball is so entertaining in this chapter! Each girl’s distinct personality is clearly depicted via author’s word choice and illustrator’s visual cues. But the marriage of the art and words is such a literary treasure that it ranks #1 in my mind.
This is the second book in the Bink and Gollie series…the first, entitled Bink and Gollie, is equitably written and illustrated. A third book, Bink and Gollie: Best Friends Forever, completes this short trilogy, and I eagerly await reading it.
This is a suitable read aloud for ages 5 and older. It could be enjoyed independently by a first grade reader.