Review: Bink & Gollie: Two for One by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee

bink and gollie two for one

Bink & Gollie: Two for One by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile

Oh how I adore these two characters!  I was thrilled to see Bink and Gollie returning for a second book.  This time the friends head to the state fair.  Bink wants to play Whack a Duck but her aim is not as good as she might think.  She manages to hit the man running the booth with hysterically funny results.  The two girls then head to what Gollie wants to do, which is to enter the talent show.  She assures everyone that she has several talents and Bink continues to tell people that, but it doesn’t quite work out like Gollie had expected.  Finally, the friends head to the fortune teller’s tent where they are told just what they both want to hear most.  The entire book is a laugh-out-loud funny, warm and cozy work that is simply glorious.

I really enjoyed that the different chapters in the book have very different feelings.  The first is so wildly funny that I was chortling out loud to myself and had to share it with others in my family.  The writing throughout the book is smart, clever and funny.  Readers will be able to see the jokes coming, but the writing takes it to a different level.  Above all, these two are friends who stand together and celebrate their differences.

Fucile’s art is a huge part of both the humor and the warmth of the book.  Throughout the vaudeville humor of the first chapter, I was amazed at how much physical humor could be portrayed on a page.  He has his own sense of comic timing that adds so much.

Highly recommended, if you haven’t read Bink & Gollie yet, make sure to try both books.  Fans will adore this second in the series and long for the next one immediately.  This is a modern children’s classic.  Appropriate for ages 4-7.

Reviewed from library copy.

Review: Cows to the Rescue by John Himmelman

cows to the rescue

Cows to the Rescue by John Himmelman

This third book in a hilarious series follows Chickens to the Rescue and Pigs to the Rescue.  It’s time for the county fair where there will be plenty of opportunities for the cows to save the day.  They help when the truck won’t start by carrying the family, the pigs and the duck to the fair.  They fill in during the three-legged race so that Jeffrey would have someone to race with.  They help the duck win the Handsomest Duck contest by getting him cleaned up.  They filled in for family pictures at the fair.  In the end, they have done so much that they can’t make it home.  So it’s up to the duck to try to get everyone back to the farm.  Look out for the next book, which just might be Duck to the Rescue.

Himmelman has a great touch for humor, painting it in broad strokes without holding back.  His words may be simple, but they have a jolliness that make it a pleasure to read.  His use of page turns to delay the cow’s solutions also adds great timing into the book. 

His illustrations have a pleasant cartoon quality to them, which definitely adds to the humor of the title.  From the duck that gets caught up in the action to the tiny pig who has a great personality of his own, this book has so much to look at and enjoy.

If you enjoyed the first two books, make sure to check this one out.  And if you haven’t read the first two, you can start at any point.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from Henry Holt & Company.