Friendships can be tricky to navigate, but if youngsters find half of the joy and loyalty of this pair, they’ll be set.

BINK & GOLLIE

TWO FOR ONE

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)

Pub Date: June 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-3361-5

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 21, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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A close encounter of the best kind.

FIELD TRIP TO THE MOON

Left behind when the space bus departs, a child discovers that the moon isn’t as lifeless as it looks.

While the rest of the space-suited class follows the teacher like ducklings, one laggard carrying crayons and a sketchbook sits down to draw our home planet floating overhead, falls asleep, and wakes to see the bus zooming off. The bright yellow bus, the gaggle of playful field-trippers, and even the dull gray boulders strewn over the equally dull gray lunar surface have a rounded solidity suggestive of Plasticine models in Hare’s wordless but cinematic scenes…as do the rubbery, one-eyed, dull gray creatures (think: those stress-busting dolls with ears that pop out when squeezed) that emerge from the regolith. The mutual shock lasts but a moment before the lunarians eagerly grab the proffered crayons to brighten the bland gray setting with silly designs. The creatures dive into the dust when the bus swoops back down but pop up to exchange goodbye waves with the errant child, who turns out to be an olive-skinned kid with a mop of brown hair last seen drawing one of their new friends with the one crayon—gray, of course—left in the box. Body language is expressive enough in this debut outing to make a verbal narrative superfluous.

A close encounter of the best kind. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4253-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Margaret Ferguson/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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