Reviews for Two for One

Booklist Reviews 2012 May #1
This sequel to Bink and Gollie (2010) finds petite, excitable Bink and tall, collected Gollie attending the state fair. In the first story of three, Bink hopes to win the "world's largest donut" in the Whack-a-Duck game, but she ends up whacking the poor game attendant instead; next, Gollie enters a talent show but suffers from stage fright until she finds a less intimidating, captive audience; and finally, the two visit a fortune-teller named Madame Prunely, who sees into the girls' immediate past ("I see that the past is replete with loss. A donut. A duck. Talent without applause") and also into their friendship's bright future. Fucile's lively artwork and detailed cartoon-style drawings, in combination with DiCamillo and McGhee's simple, droll words, are spot-on when it comes to depicting humorous and sympathetic moments, and they excel in highlighting the great joys of best friendship. Kids will be left eagerly anticipating the further adventures of this unlikely--and completely charming--duo. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
The odd-couple besties (Bink & Gollie) star in three new stories that take place at a state fair. Though all three are discrete, the well-paced adventures form a satisfying arc, each story rewarding in different ways--for slapstick humor, poignancy, or affirmation of camaraderie. Black-and-white illustrations, with frequent, strategic pops of color, use copious motion lines and cinematic views.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2012 #3
The odd-couple besties (Bink & Gollie, rev. 1/11) star in three new stories that take place at a state fair. "Whack a Duck" has short-stuff Bink turning a carnival game into an injury zone. "You're Special, Aren't You?" finds beanpole Gollie freezing up during talent-show tryouts. In "Without Question," a two-for-one psychic reading predicts a future of companionship for the pals. The stories are rewarding in different ways: "Duck" for its slapstick-y humor, "Special" (the most compelling of the three) for its poignancy, and "Question" for its affirmation of camaraderie. Though each episode is discrete, the well-paced adventures form a satisfying arc. DiCamillo and McGhee's all-dialogue text is crisp and character specific: Bink, perpetually overexcited, speaks in short, caffeinated bursts while Gollie's thoughts emerge fully formed. Fucile's digital illustrations, black and white with frequent, strategic pops of color, use copious motion lines and cinematic views; there's real tension, for example, in "Special," between the close-up of Gollie's face as stage fright sets in and (page turn) the two panned-back images of her standing alone in front of the audience. But Bink, with a simple solution, neutralizes Gollie's mortification in that way only best friends can. elissa gershowitz Copyright 2012 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 April #2
Winsome duo Bink and Gollie are back, this time zipping through a day at the state fair (Bink & Gollie, 2010). Messy-mopped Bink goes immediately to the Whack-a-Duck game. After all, the prize is the world's largest donut. In a brilliant spread that shows every step of her comical windup, Bink's pitch explodes with energy. She is endearingly hopeful, but … not exactly on target. The next chapter is Gollie's turn to shine. She enters the talent show with stars in her eyes. But when she opens her mouth on stage, nothing comes out--though her expressions are priceless. Luckily there is a much more forgiving audience right around the corner. The last story showcases Bink and Gollie together. Madame Prunely tells them their fortune. ("Destiny?" asks Bink. "Is it a ride?" / "In a manner of speaking," replies Gollie.) However, these two best friends don't need to hear much about their future. They have each other and that's all that matters. It's difficult to match the exuberance of first meeting (or reading) this winning pair, but Bink and Gollie's second adventure won't disappoint. Utterly chuckle-worthy, charming and (thank goodness) still refreshing. Friendships can be tricky to navigate, but if youngsters find half of the joy and loyalty of this pair, they'll be set. (Early reader. 6-8) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 May #3

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)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 May

Gr 1-3--Best friends Bink and Gollie are complete opposites in terms of appearance; Bink is short and squat with an explosion of yellow hair and rumpled clothes, and Gollie is tall and slender with a smooth bob and a chic outfit. They are kindred spirits, though, and readers will delight in sharing in their adventures at the state fair. First, Bink tries mightily (yet unsuccessfully) to win one of the games, then Gollie decides to enter a talent competition but is gripped by a bout of stage fright. Finally, both girls have their fortunes told by Madame Prunely, and they realize that the future doesn't matter too much as long as they're together. The common thread linking all of the stories is the girls' respect and compassion for each other, and the realization that having a good buddy makes life's little vexations more tolerable. Short, compact sentences make this book an ideal selection for beginning readers. There are some challenging vocabulary words, but readers should be able to glean much of the story from the fantastic illustrations. Fucile employs an economical use of sketchy lines and splashes of color to capture facial expressions and emotions with spot-on accuracy. His artwork goes a long way in making this title the funny, touching book that it is. It would be no surprise if Bink and Gollie were to join the likes of Elephant and Piggie and Frog and Toad in the ranks of favorite friend duos. Hilarious, warm, and, in a word, outstanding.--Amy Holland, Irondequoit Public Library, NY--

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