I had been ready to declare The Boys my favorite children’s book of 2010 until Bink and Gollie came along. Now I’m not so sure.

I’m completely smitten with this one.

Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee have created something magical here, helped in no small measure by Tony Fucile’s perfect illustrations. And I mean perfect, absolutely flawless. This is such a strange little collection of stories about 2 very different girls who are the best of friends, and the illustrations take it from an already charming and quirky story to an over-the-top genius of a book. It just arrived in my library this week, so it was my first chance to have a look at it. And I fell in love with it immediately.

Bink is short, rumpled, with out of control blonde hair and a love for peanut butter. She also has a huge heart and a penchant for outrageous socks. Gollie is tall, thin, and tidy. She lives in a modern house and makes excellent pancakes. Both girls are adventurers and strong personalities on their own. Together they are the picture of opposites attract friendship. The three stories follow Bink’s quest for new socks, Gollie’s mountain climbing adventure, and Bink’s new pet goldfish. Simple enough stories, but it’s the loving details that make them shine. The way Bink makes Gollie sandwiches for her mountain climbing trip. The way Gollie comes to Bink’s aid when her new pet is in trouble. I hope these aren’t the only Bink and Gollie stories, because I think DiCamillo, McGhee, and Fucile are on to something here.