Chalk this book up to a surprise find. E found this book while helping out at one of the book fairs, and she recognized one of the authors – Kate DiCamillo, a favorite of ours. (I should do a whole post on her work soon.) I’m not going to lie – I wasn’t particularly thrilled with her choice. I’ve watched her fly through five hundred page novels in an afternoon, and I wondered if this book wasn’t just a tad bit young for her, and at the same time, a tad bit over the head of the little one.
I’m quite sure E read it immediately, and probably many times over, but it sat on the shelf for awhile before we stumbled across it again. And by we, I mean F and I. We were doing one of those things we like to do every once in awhile when we’re home alone together – we pick a spot on the bookshelf and we start reading each book, in order, until I’m out of voice. (Because she’s never out of listen.)
I had missed this little gem of a book right under my nose.
There are several Bink & Gollie books, and we have a few of them, but this one is my very favorite. We read it through once, then she asked for it again, and then we read it at least three more times, and many times since. The State Fair is in town, and the two friends decide to go together. The book is set up in three parts; first Bink tries her hand at the “Whack a Duck” game with predictable results,
then Gollie decides to give the talent show a run before suffering a severe case of stage fright.
In the final story, the two girls decide to visit the fortune teller to catch a glimpse into the future – F thinks they are looking for some better news after a tough day, and I have to agree. What happens in this tent is perhaps the sweetest ending to a book I’ve ever read.
This is the book you want to pick up for your kid to give her best friend on her birthday. Heck, this is the book you might want to give your own best friend on her birthday. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t see a little bit of my girls in Bink & Gollie as well.
Find these titles at your favorite local independent bookstore. Happy reading!