The state fair is in town, and now Bink and Gollie — utter opposites and best friends extraordinaire — must use teamwork and their gray matter while navigating its many wonders. Will the energetic Bink win the world's largest donut in the Whack-a-Duck game? Will the artistic Gollie wow the crowd in the talent show? As the undaunted duo steps into the mysterious tent of fortune-teller Madame Prunely, one prediction is crystal clear: this unlikely pair will always be the closest of pals. Get ready for more laughs in this wry, warmhearted sequel to the New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book Bink and Gollie, written by the award-winning, best-selling Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee and featuring the exuberant visual humor of illustrator Tony Fucile.
If Bink and Gollie's first adventure emphasized the simple pleasures of roller skating, novelty socks, and imaginary mountain-climbing expeditions, DiCamillo and McGhee's sequel suggests that the world is a strange and unpredictable place, best faced with one's closest friend at one's side. This trio of stories is set at the state fair (where better to observe the odder side of life?), and while this mismatched duo's friendship remains feisty and close-knit, an unsettling undercurrent runs through the tales. Bink tries her hand at the Whack-a-Duck game in the surprisingly violent first story, nailing the game's operator in the face with a baseball three times (strike three mercifully occurs off-screen, but Bink's first two efforts are drawn in graphic detail). In the following stories, Gollie competes (unsuccessfully) in a talent competition, and the girls visit a fortune-teller. The book's best moment occurs after Madame Prunely reveals that the girls will be together in the future. "That's all the future I need to know," shouts Bink, charging out of the tent. Here's hoping that future is brighter. Ages 6 8.