Tag Archives: Alison McGhee

Bink & Gollie

Authors: Kate DiCamillo & Alison McGhee

Illustrator: Tony Fucile

Bink & Gollie are the best of friends, and they love doing stuff together–especially rollerskating! But the truth is, they don’t agree on a lot of other things. Gollie thinks Bink can be garish and annoying. Bink thinks Gollie is stuffy and boring. It’s way too easy to fight over stuff like that. But in spite of all that, it’s still more fun when they’re together . . . and thus, a compromise is in order.

Too fun! I think if you somehow combined the best of Dr. Seuss and Beverly Cleary, you might get something similar to Bink & Gollie. This is a straightforward, imaginative, funny story of friendship in spite of differences of opinion. And it certainly is funny–these two girls are pretty zany to be sure. This is a quick read, only three chapters (short stories, really) long, with basically an “easy-reader” level of difficulty. So it’s great for beginning readers, although I think the story surpasses the reading level and would be great for older readers as well. Plus the art is great–full of humor and expression. I really love the use of greys and colors to create mood and focus. I would definitely recommend Bink & Gollie–much fun.

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Half-Minute Horrors

Editor: Susan Rich

Do you love the sort of short, startling stories that are best told late at night around a campfire? Or maybe you’re the sort that doesn’t really think it’s possible for a story to be properly scary in only a page or two, but you’d like to see them try. Regardless, this collection of one- to two-page short stories is sure to horrify–and possibly change your outlook on closets, lasagna, and strawberry bubble bath forever!

Half-Minute Horrors was a lucky find at a used bookstore for me–I’ve never seen it anywhere else. This collection features (extremely) short stories (and a few comics) by some of today’s leading authors and artists. The variety is impressive, yet they all prey on our deepest fears, utilizing surprise, disgust, and the ever-useful twist to create stories that are sure to leave the reader, well, horrified. Yet even while being certifiably creepy, these stories are honestly appropriate even for elementary-age children–as long as they don’t get freaked out too easily or have nightmares. I definitely enjoyed this collection, and would recommend Half-Minute Horrors to anyone who likes scary stories–especially if you don’t have much time to enjoy them.

Featured Authors/Illustrators: Lemony Snicket, Jerry Spinelli, Kenneth Oppel, Richard Sala, Erin Hunter, James Patterson, Sonya Sones, Tom Genrich, Michèle Perry, Angela Johnson, Jon Klassen, Arthur Slade, M. T. Anderson, Yvonne Prinz, M. E. Kerr, Adam Rex, Dean Lorey, Sarah Weeks, Gloria Whelan, Holly Black, Faye Kellerman, Lisa Brown, Pseudonymous Bosch, Nadia Aguiar, Sienna Mercer, Jack Gantos, Stephen Marche, Brad Meltzer, Lane Smith, Carol Gorman, David Rich, Jenny Nimmo, Margaret Atwood, Mariko Tamaki, Brian Selznick, Francine Prose, Ayelet Waldman, R. L. Stine, Adele Griffin, Aliza Kellerman, Mark Crilley, Allan Stratton, Sarah L. Thomson, Katherine Applegate, Avi, Gail Carson Levine, David Stahler Jr., Carson Ellis, Tui T. Sutherland, Abi Slone, Joseph Delaney, Alan Gratz, Brett Helquist, Josh Greenhut, Neil Gaiman, Lesley Livingston, Jon Scieszka, Vladimir Radunsky, Alison McGhee, Daniel Ehrenhaft, Melissa Marr, Chris Raschka, Stacey Godenir, Dan Gutman, Alice Kuipers, Frank Viva, Libba Bray, Joyce Carol Oates, Jonathan Lethem, Michael Connelly, Lauren Myracle, Barry Yourgrau, Aaron Renier, Gregory Maguire

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