cover image Bink and Gollie: Two for One

Bink and Gollie: Two for One

Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illus. by Tony Fucile. Candlewick, $15.99 (96p) ISBN 978-0-7636-3361-5

If Bink and Gollie’s first adventure emphasized the simple pleasures of roller skating, novelty socks, and imaginary mountain-climbing expeditions, DiCamillo and McGhee’s sequel suggests that the world is a strange and unpredictable place, best faced with one’s closest friend at one’s side. This trio of stories is set at the state fair (where better to observe the odder side of life?), and while this mismatched duo’s friendship remains feisty and close-knit, an unsettling undercurrent runs through the tales. Bink tries her hand at the Whack-a-Duck game in the surprisingly violent first story, nailing the game’s operator in the face with a baseball three times (strike three mercifully occurs off-screen, but Bink’s first two efforts are drawn in graphic detail). In the following stories, Gollie competes (unsuccessfully) in a talent competition, and the girls visit a fortune-teller. The book’s best moment occurs after Madame Prunely reveals that the girls will be together in the future. “That’s all the future I need to know,” shouts Bink, charging out of the tent. Here’s hoping that future is brighter. Ages 6–8. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (June)