Bink & Gollie by Kate Camillo and Alison McGhee

“Bink & Gollie” by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, along with a picture my daughter once drew of her own friends.

My oldest is an enormous fan of comic book stores. It’s like he has an internal GPS that enables him to locate any shop within a 3 mile radius. His interest in these stores started with his love of superheroes but has now grown to include graphic novel adapations of books he loves — classic stories, chapter books, etc. For awhile my middle child trooped along on these excursions, picking up something that looked fun, but usually losing interest quickly. That is, until we discovered “Bink & Gollie.”

Lovers of the Mercy Watson series are already familiar with author Kate DiCamillo. She also wrote “The Tale of Despereaux,” a book many know from the film adaptation. I wasn’t familiar with her partner on this series, Alison McGhee, but she’s had a past collaboration with Peter Reynolds and that’s enough for me. The illustrator, Tony Fucille, worked on the films “The Lion King,” “Finding Nemo,” and “The Incredibles.”

Sample page from "Bink & Gollie"Bink and Gollie are two little girls with amazing imaginations and equally amazing adventures. They roller skate, they buy crazy socks, they eat pancakes together, and they take imaginary adventures to the Andes. The first volume of the series contains three stories in picture book style – large engaging images with short text on each page.

What I love about these girls is that they are fiercely independent. They each have their own likes and interests. They pursue their own hobbies, even if the other isn’t particularly interested. They also support one another. Gollie troops along on Bink’s sock-buying expedition, even though it isn’t her cup of tea. They argue, but are never mean. And in the end, you know they are true friends and that friendship will always come first.

The recommended age for this Theodore Seuss Geisel Award-winning book is 6-9. (It was also Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Children’s Book of the Year, a Kirkus Review Best Children’s Book, and a NY Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year.) There is nothing in these books that would be inappropriate for slightly younger readers. My daughter dove into the world of Bink & Gollie at age 5.

A second book is now available — Bink & Gollie: Two for One.

Have Books Will Travel

I can think of few pleasures as wonderful as a good book. I love to open the cover of a new book, slowly turning the pages, taking a deep breath as I absorb those first words. And then I’m off, racing word by word, paragraph by paragraph. I consume it, wishing the end would never come, but unable to slow my reading for even an instant. All too soon it is over and I close the book, remembering moments and characters.  If it was a particularly good book I must pause before I start the next. I can’t leave that world too quickly.

I have always read voraciously, loving to read even before I set foot in school. I would get up early in the morning, before the sun came up, so I could read before breakfast. Finally my parents had to set a time, before which I wasn’t to awake. I obeyed, although reluctantly.

Now I’m a writer and a stay-at-home mom and I’m reveling in those moments of watching my children catch that spark. And they have. I am revisiting old favorites with them and discovering new ones. I find myself, on a weekly basis, offering suggestions to friends of books I think their kids would love. And so, we have this blog.

KAM Reads will offer up some of our favorite reads. I’ll likely stick with books for children and YA reads for now, but maybe I’ll add other selections down the road.