Reading level: Ages 6-9
Pages: 48 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Language: English
ISBN: 978-0316024525

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Awards + Reviews
Ling and Ting


•2011 Theodor Geisel Honor
•Junior Library Guild Selection
•starred Booklist review
•starred Kirkus review
•starred Horn Book review
•starred School Library Journal review
NY Times Sunday Book Review
•2010 Kirkus Best Children's Books
•2010 Booklist Editor's Choice
•PW's Best of Books of 2010
•NY Times Notable Children's Books of 2010
•TLA's 2x2 Reading List

Listen to a Kid's Review:


Booklist
*Starred Review* Sisters Ling and Ting may be twins, but that doesn't mean "they're exactly the same," no matter what everyone says upon first meeting them. Children will come to their own conclusions after reading the six short, interconnected stories that make up this pleasing book for beginning readers. In the first chapter, "The Haircuts," Ling sneezes while her bangs are being cut, and for a while at least, it's easy to tell the twins apart. The chapters that follow reveal distinct differences in the sisters personalities, inclinations, and abilities. Despite those differences, in the end each girl subtly affirms her affection for the other. Framed with narrow borders, the paintings illustrate the stories with restrained lines, vivid colors, and clarity. The chapters often end with mildly humorous turns, from a neat play on words to a smack-your heard obvious solution to an apparently impossible dilemma. These endings, as well as bits of comic byplay that occur in the brief framework vignettes, will suit the target audience beautifully. Lin, whose previous books include Dim Sum for Everyone (2001) and the 2010 Newbery Honor Book Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (2009), shows her versatility once again in an original book that tells its story clearly while leaving room for thought and discussion.


Kirkus
*Starred Review* Newbery Honor author Lin makes a stunning entree into the world of early readers. The first of six short stories introduces identical Chinese-American twins Ling and Ting, who always wear matching patterned dresses. The similarities soon end after the girls visit the barber. While Ling sits still, fidgety Ting sneezes, causing the barber to lop off too much of her bangs. As the girls perform magic tricks and head to the library, young readers will begin to focus more on Ling and Ting's different personalities and less on their identical faces. The author introduces Chinese cultural elements as Ling and Ting make dumplings and try out chopsticks. Imbued with humor only a sibling could get away with, the episodes build on one another until the final chapter, featuring a picnic with the author's now-trademark cupcakes, serves as a funny summary of the twins' tales. Vibrant gouache paintings also extend each story, emphasizing the sisterly warmth that prevails even when the two don't see exactly eye to eye. This spot-on depiction of twins celebrates individuality. (Early reader. 6-9)


Horn Book
*Starred Review* People are always telling twin sisters Ling and Ting that they are exactly the same. "'We are not exactly the same,' Ling says. Ting laughs because she is thinking exactly the same thing!" In her first early reader, author-illustrator Lin (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, rev. 9/09) presents six chapters, each a brief, humorous story about the sisters. In "The Haircuts," the girls have the same black hair, which needs cutting at the same time, but they don't behave the same-Ling sits quietly while Ting fidgets (and sneezes at a crucial moment)-and two different haircuts are the result. Ting's uneven bangs make it easy for young readers to tell who's who, though by the end they will know the identically dressed girls by their unique personalities, with Ting's goofiness a perfect match for her goofy bangs. Performing magic tricks, making and eating dumplings, visiting the library, and going on a picnic round out the rest of the book, warmly illustrated with Lin's color-saturated art inside boldly hued borders.


School Library Journal
*Starred Review* Lin brings her talents to these charming stories about Chinese-American twins who like to stick together but are not as alike as everyone thinks. The six short chapters are the perfect length for beginning readers. In the first story, the girls get haircuts. Ting “moves her legs and her fingers. Ting can never sit still.” When her snipped hair falls on her nose, she sneezes and the barber cuts a little too much off her bangs. The simple illustrations follow this mishap throughout the book, making the sisters easily identifiable. In the other vignettes, Ling and Ting make very different dumplings, Ling cannot eat with chopsticks no matter how hard Ting tries to teach her, and they visit the library. Each story ends with an amusing punch line that will make readers laugh. The last chapter ties all of the tales together, showing the fun and friendship that the girls share. This relationship, combined with the simple sentence structure, repetitive text, and straightforward illustrations that reinforce new vocabulary words, will put this easy reader in the same category as Arnold Lobel’s “Frog and Toad” books (HarperCollins).


from Shelf Awareness
Just when we thought Grace Lin (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon) had stretched the limits of children's bookmaking to her fullest extent, she triumphantly tackles yet another challenging category: the beginning reader. Here she introduces identical twins Ling and Ting: "They have the same brown eyes. They have the same pink cheeks. They have the same happy smiles. People see them and they say, 'You two are exactly the same!'" But they are not "exactly the same," as Ling is quick to say, and Ting thinks to herself. The brief tales in this intelligently designed volume prove it. The clever first entry allows readers to tell the two apart easily. Ling sits calmly in the barber's chair, and the man cuts her bangs "in a smooth line." Restless Ting, however, causes the barber to clip a bit more creatively ("Ling and Ting are... not exactly the same. Now when people see them, they know it too"). Each succeeding tale reveals a little more about each of the girls' personalities. For instance, we learn that Ting is a tad forgetful (she can't remember the playing card she chose from the deck during Ling's magic trick). Some of the stories build on previous events: in a chapter about a trip to the library, Ting remembers her playing card from Ling's magic trick but forgets to check out a dog book for Ling. Other episodes offer insight into the girls' Chinese culture (as readers learn about dumplings and chopsticks). Each story spans six to eight pages, features an illustration on every page, and often ends with a wordless finale (like the twins approaching the library steps together). With a manageable vocabulary and chapter length, generous helpings of humor and two winning (and unique!) heroines, these half-dozen stories are sure to be a hit. Young readers will clamor for more adventures about these charming sisters.--Jennifer M. Brown