Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ling & Ting

Lin, Grace. 2010. Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same. New York: Little Brown.

Twins Ling and Ting are not exactly the same, but they're close - at least, that is, until you get to know them. Ting is more fanciful. Ling, more disciplined.  In "Making Dumplings," Ling remarks that dumplings look like old Chinese money. 
"We should make a lot of dumplings," Ting says.  "Then we will have a lot of money." So, Ling rolls and Ting mixes. "I will close my dumplings tight," Ling says. "Then our money will not get away." 
 Ting stuffs her dumplings until they're fat and lumpy.
"I will put a lot of meat in my dumplings," Ting says.  "So we will be very rich."
In the end, it doesn't matter.  The girls laugh.  They have made "dump-Lings" and "dump-Tings!"

The delightful illustrations have Grace Lin's distinctive combination of simplicity and joy. Each page of this  easy reader contains a half-page illustration and minimal text.  Each chapter is printed on different, complementary colored pages, helping newly independent readers to an easy transition between chapters.  Also aiding the reader is the bad haircut that Ting receives in the first chapter!  Her botched (but still cute) bangs make the twins easily distinguishable from one another throughout the rest of the book.

Readers of this early chapter book will be treated to six short stories in which they will get to know Ting and Ling, and receive a small taste of Chinese American culture.  They will see that Chinese Americans are the same, but not exactly the same, as any other Americans. And they will see that though they are twins, Ling and Ting are as different as any other two sisters! 

Ling & Ting - they're twins, they're sisters, and they're funny.  I hope we see more of them.


Grace Lin's site offers a wealth of useful information - recipes, coloring pages, lesson plans and more. Her publisher's site offers a downloadable Educator's Guide specifically for Ling & Ting.

The only thing lacking for Ling & Ting? Leveling information - Lexile, Flesch-Kincaid, please, give us something to work with, Little Brown.  Oh how I wish publishers would all get on the same page when it comes to Easy Readers!

A question I'd like to ask Grace Lin:
Is there any significance to the giant cupcake?

Grace Lin's jacket flap author photos are just plain fun. And here's a fun little trailer for Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same.



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