Bink and Gollie

Last updated Friday, April 1, 2011

Author: Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee
Illustrator: Tony Fucile
Date of Publication: 2010
ISBN: 076363266X
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Feb. 2011

Synopsis: In three humorous interconnected stories, Gollie, a self-confident girl who lives in a fashionable, contemporary house, and Bink, her rumpled but lovable, impish friend, are adventure-seeking companions, each with her own strong will. In the first tale, Bink's outrageous socks offend Gollie's sartorial eye, but the two compromise for friendship's sake. The second story sends Gollie on an imagined climb up the Andes, shutting Bink out of the house until she arrives at the door with a sandwich, which they share on top of the “mountain.” In the final episode, Gollie is jealous of Bink's new pet fish until Bink reassures her that no one can take her place. All three stories, written with short sentences, abundant dialogue, and some contemporary expressions, offer delightful portrayals of two headstrong characters who, despite their differences and idiosyncratic quirks, know the importance of true friendship. The delightful digitalized cartoon illustrations–mostly black and white, with color used for the two characters and in strategic splashes throughout–reinforce the humor of the text. Filled with movement, they successfully portray the protagonists' changing moods. Elementary listeners and readers will have no trouble relating to the two friends' antics and the bond they share.Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, The Naples Players, FL

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Look at the characters on the cover. What do you think their relationship is? Sisters? Friends? Enemies?
•  Which character do you think is Bink? Which one is Gollie? Why?
•  What do you think this book might be about?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  During/After Questions: Chapter 1:
•  Have you ever been roller skating? If yes, where? If no, have you ever been interested in learning how?
•  Gollie says “I long for speed.” What does it mean to long for something? Can you come up with a synonym?
•  Do you know what a bonanza is? Can you think of a synonym?
•  Is there anything on the sock sign that might be luring Gollie and Bink inside?
•  Do you own any clothes that are particularly bright or outrageous? Describe them.
•  Reader: cover up page 23 and stop after page 22 to ask the following questions: Are Gollie and Bink happy when they didn’t compromise (when Gollie has pancakes and Bink is wearing her socks?) Why or why not? Can you think of a solution they both can agree to? Chapter 2:
•  Can you locate Tazmania or Timbuktu on a map? (Tazmania is off the south coast of Australia; Timbuktu is in Mali (northwestern Africa))
•  How long has it been since your last adventure?
•  Can you locate the Andes Mountains on a map? Do you think Gollie is actually in the Andes? Why or why not?
•  Is Bink listening to what Gollie is asking of her? (tease out the relationship between Bink and Gollie where Gollie is telling Bink she needs to be left alone, but in trying to be a good friend (providing food), Bink is actually interrupting Gollie’s journey).
•  Do you recognize anything in the picture on page 44? Chapter 3:
•  Is Bink’s fish remarkable or unremarkable? How do you know?
•  How do you think Bink found out that her marvelous companion’s name is Fred?
•  Who is enjoying the movie? Who is not enjoying the movie? How do you know?
•  Do you agree with Bink? Do you think Gollie was jealous of Fred?
•  Look at the picture on the last page. What do you notice that tells you something about friendship? (The sock is now a scarf, Bink is visiting Fred while spending time with Gollie)

Craft ideas:
•  Use a globe or map to “choose your own adventure.” Like Gollie, “let your finger speak” to determine where you will travel. Draw a picture and create a story/picture caption for what you will do on your adventure.
•  3D goldfish—Julie Moskovitz will send you template
•  Design your own outrageous article of clothing.
•  Create a windsock out of construction paper (or bring ahead items).

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!