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Results 1 - 12 of 12
1. Bink & Gollie: Best Friends Forever

In their third outing, Bink and Gollie are again true to form. Gollie is superior as ever and Bink as stubborn. Luckily these character traits make for some great stories. In the first of the three tales that make up this beginning reader, Gollie sees a photo of her great aunt wearing a crown. Always suspecting she came from royal blood, Gollie now has all the proof she needs. (I confess I have a slight preference for Gollie. Perhaps it has something to do with the nickname my family bestowed on me as a child: Her Majesty.) Gollie's haughty manner does not hold water with Bink, and how Gollie is brought back to her senses is subtly and touchingly portrayed.

Story two showcases Bink's pressing desire to be tall. She falls prey to an advertisement for a Stretch-o-Matic device, something akin to a medieval torture rack, only this one suspends you from the ceiling with weights. Needless to say, results don't turn out as planned, but Bink finds a way to be satisfied with her purchase. The last story has Bink and Gollie on the search for something to collect. Inspired by Flicker's Arcana of the Extraordinary, the girls attempt to get their names and photos in the hefty tome. In the end they succeed, but not in a way most readers would have predicted.

As always, Tony Fucile's illustrations are a delight and in this book they are especially strong. The image of Gollie standing all alone in the rain adds to the story's pathos and the depiction of what happens to the Stetch-o-Matic is dramatic indeed. I especially like the fun details Fucile includes, such as the portrait hanging on Bink's wall of Marcellus Gilmore Edson, inventor of peanut butter. According to Google, Edson did, in fact, hold a patent for peanut butter, issued in 1884. Who knew?

Bink & Gollie: Best Friends Forever
by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee
illustrations by Tony Fucile
Candlewich Press  96 pages
Published: April 2013

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2. Bink and Gollie: Two for One

DiCamillo and McGhee hit another one out of the ballpark with the return of Bink and Gollie, two irrepressible best friends. In this sequel the dynamic duo go to the state fair and have a series of adventures. Bink, determined to whack a duck and win a giant-size donut, has more success whacking the ticket vendor. Then Gollie gets a major case of stage fright while performing at the amateur talent show. The last story finds the girls consulting a seer about the future of their friendship. Don't worry, it's all good news. In fact, while gazing into my own crystal ball, I see a long string of books featuring these quirky protagonists.

Bink & Gollie: two for One
by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee
illustrations by Tony Fucile
Candlewick Press
Publication: June, 2012

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3. Bink & Gollie

After reading so many rave reviews of Bink & Gollie by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, I had to see what the fuss was about. Not yet having the book in hand, I couldn't imagine why everyone was so excited. Two girls, one tall, one short, who in the first story buy a pair of socks? Come on, pull the other one.

Then I read the book. Aah, now I see. So I'll add my bucket of praise to the oceans already out there. Bink & Gollie is a wonderful, wonderful book, destined to become a children's classic. DiCamillo, a Newbery award winner, and McGhee, a NY Times bestselling author, have created two winning characters based loosely on themselves. Bink (DiCamillo) is the short one, the down-to-earth one, who lives in a cottage at the base of a giant tree. At the top of the tree, in a modernistic treehouse, lives Gollie. More cerebral than Bink, Gollie speaks with precision and a rather formal syntax. There is a whiff of superiority about her, no doubt caused from living in rarified air among the treetops.

Somewhere between an early reader and a beginning chapter book, Bink & Gollie is 96 pages long and divided into three stand-alone stories. The first concerns socks. While out rollerskating, the girls come across a store having a sale on socks. Not just any socks, but outrageously bright socks. Bink buys herself a pair, and Gollie is mortified. The mere sight of them offends her. After a tiff between the friends, the pair learn the joys of compromise.

The second story involves Gollie's adventure climbing the Andes (in her imagination) while Bink tries her best to wangle her way inside her friend's abode. The final chapter deals with jealousy. Bink buys a pet fish, and Gollie resents him. When the trio are out rollerskating, a near tragedy occurs, but Gollie saves the day (and the fish), and Bink reassures her that she, not Fred the Fish, is the most marvelous companion of all.

No review of this book can be considered complete without mentioning the art. Tony Fucile adds so much to the characters of Bink and Gollie. Bink has a shock of blond hair, giving her an impish charm, while Gollie's lanky body language speaks volumes. The background is usually in black and white with the girls and a few objects (like the socks) highlighted in color. Little wonder this book made the NY Times Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2010.

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4. 2011 Geisel Award

Yesterday the Geisel Award for the most distinguished book for beginning readers was announced. Drumroll, please! And the lucky winner is Bink and Gollie (written by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGee and illustrated by Tony Fucile).

The Honor Books were Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! (written and illustrated by Grace Lin) and We Are in a Book! (written and illustrated by Mo Willems).

Congratulations to all the winners! I reviewed Bink and Gollie and Ling & Ting on this blog, but I haven't gotten around to reading We Are in a Book yet. That will soon be remedied.

For a complete list  of the 2011 ALSC award winners, click here.

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5. 1. Bink & Gollie

Written by Kate DeCamillo, Alison McGhee
Illustrated by Tony Fucile
$15.99, ages 4-8, 96 pages

Two pals get into spats, but discover that if they give a little, they can work things out in DiCamillo and McGee's adorable 2011 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner.

Bink and Gollie look nothing alike, but as they swap knowing glances on the cover of this early reader, you get the feeling they're alike where it really counts.

Though Bink is short and Gollie is tall, and their clothes and hair-dos are very different, each girl is adventurous and gets what the other is about.

Bink, with her flyaway hair, jumps into life, unconcerned with what others think, and it's that confidence that immediately endears her to us.

Gollie is reserved, but strong-willed. She longs for speed and spurs the two to roller-skate as fast as they can. She also imagines doing thrilling things, though she never goes far from her tree house.

Most of the time Gollie and Bink are game for what the other wants to do, but sometimes they're stubborn and won't budge enough to compromise.

Over three spare, energy-filled chapters, we see how a tiff between Bink and Gollie can blow up into an argument that neither really wants to have and can hide something else that's bothering one of them.

In the first chapter, Bink decides she has to get rainbow socks, and though Gollie thinks they're atrocious, she follows her on roller-skates to the five-and-dime and sticks by while Bink rummages through a bin.

But you can tell that the socks are really bugging Gollie. So when Bink asks Gollie on the way home if she'll whip up her classic pancake stack, Gollie gets persnickety and tells Bink she has to lose the socks first.

Bink, however, is not about give up her socks. She thinks Gollie's compromise is far from fair. So she calls Gollie's bluff and walks out her tree house with her socks proudly pulled up to her knees.

For a time, the two hold th

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6. Children’s Books by Fucile, Goodrich, Klassen & Vischer

Animation artists have worked in children’s book publishing for almost as long as the animation industry has existed. The trend continues to this day; below are four recently published children’s books that were illustrated by artists who have extensive animation industry experience. And we’ll probably see more of these books for quite some time: in a rare bit of good news for the traditional publishing industry, this Publisher’s Weekly article reports that children’s book sales remain one of the strongest markets in print.

Tony Fucile
Mitchell’s License by Tony Fucile

Carter Goodrich
Say Hello to Zorro! by Carter Goodrich

Jon Klassen
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

Frans Vischer
Fuddles
Fuddles by Frans Vischer


Cartoon Brew: Leading the Animation Conversation | Permalink | No comment | Post tags: , , ,

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7. A New Mentor Text: Developing A Character

It’s hard to develop characters – well.  It’s even harder to develop a character that’s young, irritating, and lovable all at once, isn’t it?  I’ve often noticed this when my students try to personify their younger brothers and sisters in their writing.  They want them to seem annoying, but often end up making them look [...]

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8. Browsing at the Bookstore


Tony Fucile has created a new picture book that I justed discovered at the bookstore today titled, Let's Do Nothing. IS IT POSSIBLE FOR A CHILD TO DO NOTHING? Blonde-haired Frankie and red-haired Sal have decided that they have tried everything . Finally Sal, has a super idea, "Let's Do Nothing". Sal creates scenarios for himself and Frankie to imagine doing nothing. However, everytime Frankie imagines doing nothing it is interupted by him doing something. After a series of expertiments in an attempt to do nothing they finally realize it is impossible to do nothing. So they only thing left to do is "Something".



Author, Tony Fucile said, "Great ideas come out of a bored or quiet mind".

Check out the Candlewick press interview with Tony Fucile as he talks out his new picture -
http://www.candlewick.com/book_files/0763634409.art.1.pdf


This is a fabulous read-loud for elementary school classrooms. Second and third graders would relate to this story. It also lends itself to acting out scences and having students see if they can do nothing. I see lots of Let's Do Nothing stories coming out reading this title aloud.

I can definately see future Frankie and Sal books and will be looking for them.









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9. Picture Book Spotlight: Let’s Do Nothing

donothing

Let’s Do Nothing by Tony Fucile (Candlewick, 2009).

On July 24th, many unschoolers (and others) will celebrate “Learn Nothing Day.” It’s a tongue-in-cheek sort of holiday, the point being that it’s impossible to live a day of your life without learning something.

Well, I’ve just found the perfect picture book to read on Learn Nothing Day. Except, darn it, what if we learn something from the book?

Ah, it doesn’t matter. I’ll never be able to wait until July to share this with my gang, anyway.

Frankie and Sal are two small boys of the very busy sort. They’ve done it all—played all the games there are to play, baked all the cookies, read all the comic books. In a quest for something new to do, they hit upon the notion of doing nothing at all. Nothing. “Zero movement. NOTHING.”

Good luck with that, fellas.

Sal gets off to a strong start, suggesting they sit still as the stone statues in the park. Frankie’s game, but…statues attract pigeons, don’t they? Who can do nothing when there are pigeons to shoo?

I love it when a book actually makes me giggle out loud. Frankie’s expressions are priceless, especially when he’s being a giant redwood or the Empire State Building. Writer/illustrator Tony Fucile has a gift for visual punchline—which stands to reason, considering his background; Fucile is an animator whose credits include such films as The Incredibles, Ratatouille, The Iron Giant, and The Lion King.

Well, in the end the boys discover it’s as impossible to DO NOTHING as it is to LEARN NOTHING. So I take it back. I don’t recommend reading this book for Learn Nothing Day after all—just like Frankie and Sal, you might accidentally learn something from the experience.

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10. Tuesday Tales: Let’s Do Nothing by Tony Fucile

kids sitting by Clearly Ambiquous
by Clearly Ambiquous www.flickr.com

*Picture book for preschoolers through second graders
*Two young boys as main characters
*Rating: I am in love with Let’s Do Nothing! I laughed out loud at this picture book. Tony Fucile’s illustrations are hilarious, and the story is so cute!

Short, short summary: Frankie and Sal do not know what else to do with themselves. They have “played every sport ever invented, painted more pictures than Van Gogh, and baked enough cookies to feed a small country.” So, they decide to do nothing. But did you know that doing nothing is much harder than it seems? When Frankie tries to be as still as can be and imagine the things that Sal says to imagine, he just can’t do nothing. Even through Sal’s frustration, he still realizes that they have proved a very important point that the whole world should realize!

So, what do I do with this book?

1. Ask students what they would pretend to be if they had to sit still and do nothing. In the book, the boys pretend to be statues, trees, and buildings. You can do this as a shared writing activity for younger students, where you make a list on chart paper and each child comes up with an idea to illustrate. For older primary children who are reading Let’s Do Nothing!, you can ask them to write about this prompt in their reading response journals.

2. Is it impossible to do nothing? That’s what the boys say in the book. Ask children this question and brainstorm answers. You can even work this into a health lesson. What parts of the body are still working and moving when you are doing nothing? How about when you are sleeping? Why do these particular body systems continue to work even when you are doing nothing?

3. Ask children to tell you what they like to do when they are bored. Have they ever run into the same problem as Frankie and Sal in the book? How would they solve this problem? Help children to make a personal connection to the text. When students or your children make personal connections with Tony Fucile’s text, then they are improving their reading comprehension, which is a very important skill.

Have you read Let’s Do Nothing! with your class or your children? What did you think?

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11. Review of the Day: Bink and Gollie by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee

Bink and Gollie
By Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee
Illustrated by Tony Fucile
Candlewick Press
$15.99
ISBN: 978-0-7636-3266-3
Ages 6-8
On shelves September 14th

I eye Bink and Gollie across the room with a slow reptilian stare. I yell at it, “I refuse to be charmed by you!” I throw a shoe. Bink and Gollie, to its credit, does not allow itself to be sucked into my childish behavior. I edge a little closer. I cry, “I know your pictures are amazing and your writing manages to be loquacious without being precious but I am not fooled!” I throw my other shoe, which unfortunately means that I am now without shoes. Bink and Gollie is now looking at me with a mixture of amusement and pity. I fall to my knees and crawl forward. When I’m close enough I whisper, “I lied. You’re amazing. You’re everything a person would want in a children’s book. You’re the best thing I’ve ever seen.” I succumb. Bink and Gollie strokes my hair as I cry uncontrollably, but it knows I am telling the truth. It really is the best thing ever. And what’s more, it’s a book like nothing else you’ve ever seen. Nothing. Ever. Seen. Trust me on this one. I see a lot of books.

Put together two Minnesotans and one animator and what do you get? Bink and Gollie, of course. Bink is a diminutive pixie, all wild blond hair and a penchant for falling madly in love with things. Gollie, in contrast, is a staid and measured companion, unwilling to be pulled into Bink’s obsessions if she can possibly help it. The two are best friends and in this book we are treated to three of their adventures. In the first, Bink falls head over heels for a pair of brightly colored socks that irk Gollie to the extreme. A compromise must be reached. In the second tale Gollie is determined to scale the heights of the Andes Mountains in her living room but finds it difficult to do so when Bink keeps knocking on her front door. In the third, Bink becomes enamored of a goldfish. Gollie cannot see its appeal, but when a terrible accident occurs she’s the one who knows exactly what to do. If you seek marvelous companions, look no further than the tales you’ll find here.

The great pairings of children’s literature involve friends with differences. Danny and his dinosaur. Houndsley and Catina. Elephant and Piggy. George and Martha. But the greatest of all these and the standard bearers if you will, are undoubtedly Frog and Toad. There’s something about their particular combination of exasperation and affection that rings true. Until now, I’ve seen few few very few characters that tap into that same feeling, a

5 Comments on Review of the Day: Bink and Gollie by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, last added: 9/7/2010
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12. From Jules:


My Caldecott Ramblings: Or, What I Would Addto Betsy Bird’s List and How I Can Really GetBehind Most of the Titles on Her List Anyway



Illustration by Tony Fucile from 7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast

1 Comments on From Jules:, last added: 9/24/2010
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