It's an unusual cross between easy reader and picture book (it's gotten some criticism for that, actually, because it doesn't fit nicely into an age slot. I say, bah to those humbugs) because it has chapters, but the pictures and vocabulary fit more into the picture book category where you assume that an adult will be reading it to a child. It also has a lot of graphic novel elements, which delighted me.
These funny little stories about two friends made me laugh out loud. In one episode, Bink buys new socks, but they are so bright and colorful that they offend Gollie. In another, Gollie goes on adventure, leaving notes behind to tell Bink not to knock on the door. As you can imagine, this does not deter Bink in the slightest (although some of the big words in the notes perplex her, "what does implore mean?" she wonders).
Their relationship is full of silly conversations and adventures. Two brief examples of hilarity:
"Hello, Gollie," said Bink. "Do I smell pancakes?"or, when Bink gets a goldfish she names Fred:
"You do not," said Gollie.
"Will I smell pancakes?" said Bink.
"Fred wants to roller-skate," said Bink. "Fred longs for speed."The illustrations, sometimes in double-page spreads, sometimes in multiple panels on a page, are vibrant and full of energy. They completed the story for me, giving shape and dimension to Bink and Gollie. I particularly loved that the backgrounds were usually in shades of gray with the girls in color.
"Fish know nothing of longing," said Gollie.
This book has garnered comparisons to James Marshall's brilliant George and Martha books and I think the comparison is a fair one. They are both funny in a way that isn't dumb and the humor tickles my funny bone in the best way. Not to mention illustrations that make the humor even more sharp.
You likely know by now that I don't buy scads of books because I would rather use the library, save my money, and keep my already-full bookcases from exploding. So it means something when I say this is a book I want to own. And I'm desperately hoping for more adventures from Bink and Gollie.
Copy checked out from my local public library