Bink & Gollie: Two for One

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
Bink & Gollie: Two for One Book Poster Image
Friendship strengthens in fun, tender graphic novel sequel.

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age 18+
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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

More entertaining than educational, this story may still open discussions about state fairs, carnival games, talent shows, and fortune tellers, or about friendship and how sticking together with your friend is what counts. It's also a great example of how the illustrations in graphic novels can tell as much story as the words. 

Positive Messages

Bink and Gollie are even closer friends in this sequel, and their loyalty and support is what makes that friendship work. For example, Gollie stands by supportively and patiently as the energetic Bink whacks everything but a duck in the Whack-a-Duck booth, more than once. And Bink's creative enthusiasm pulls the embarrassed Gollie out of a disappointing moment after she freezes in front of the audience during the amateur talent show. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Though neither Bink nor Gollie are very real, they're characters to whom kids will relate; most people know kids who are like each of them. They live life differently, one a ball of energy, the other quiet and artistic. But they're both kind and thoughtful and know what it means to be a good friend.

Violence & Scariness

Some slapstick, cartoony violence that kids will find funny when Bink tries to whack a duck and hits the man in the booth instead, several times, leaving him with broken glasses and a bandaged head and arm. 


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the graphic novel Bink & Gollie: Two for One, the  sequel to Bink and Gollie, extends the girls' friendship through a series of misadventures at the state fair. Though it can be enjoyed without having read the first book, its message deepens if readers can see how the tested friendship has grown since Book 1. Created in a graphic novel format for younger kids, the story is touching and original, and the animated illustrations are fantastic!

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What's the story?

The two best friends are at it again in this second of the Bink and Gollie series. Short and bouncy, Bink spins with energy, while tall, lanky Gollie is her quiet, more artistic sidekick. Like the first book, BINK AND GOLLIE: TWO FOR ONE might be called a beginner's graphic novel. Three chapters, minimal text, and fantastically expressive and lively cartoon-like illustrations tell the story of the girls' misadventures at the state fair. Bink tries to win a mammoth donut, Gollie tries to show how special she is in an amateur talent show, and they both question destiny as Madame Prunely stares into her crystal ball. Lessons are learned at every turn, but the most important one of all is that having each other as a friend is about all the future they need to know.

Is it any good?

This sequel has many of the same lovable aspects as Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee's first Bink & Gollie book. Kids who liked that book definitely will like this one. And they'll enjoy seeing the girls' friendship grow even stronger. While young kids may be a little confused by the crystal ball episode, they'll definitely see the humor, and then disappointment and tenderness, in the other two stories.

The format is simple: It's a story told in three parts, all very pertinent to kids in the early grades, with minimal text and fantastically expressive illustrations by animator Tony Fucile. His uses bits of color splashed here and there amid computer-generated thin-lined sketches to fill out the story, which makes readers want to stop and cruise around each page. This is a fun series, sure to have at least a few more follow-up adventures. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about graphic novels. Do you find that the illustrations tell as much story as the words? Are graphic novels more fun to read than stories without illustrations?

  • What do you think about Bink's experience at the Whack-a-Duck booth. Do you think she came up with a good solution? Have you ever tried to win the giant prize at a carnival booth? What happened?

  • Have you ever known how to do something well ... until you step in front of a crowd and freeze, like what happens to Gollie ? How does Bink help her out? What does that show about their friendship?

Book details

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For kids who love graphic novels and friendship stories

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