Ling & Ting: Sometimes it’s OK to spot the differences

May 24, 2010 at 7:21 pm Leave a comment

Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! by Grace Lin; published by Little, Brown and Company, New York; 2010.

Note: This review is based on an uncorrected color proof provided for free by the publisher.  The book is due on shelves July 1, 2010.

Ling and Ting are twins.  Everyone greets them the same way, “You two are exactly the same!”  And the girls reply, “We are not exactly the same.”  Each chapter in this easy reader spotlights a way in which the girls differ.  One girl’s unfortunate sneeze during her haircut results in uneven bangs that are different than her sister’s.  One sister likes her dumplings plump and bumpy, the other creates smooth little pockets.  The genius, for me, is that Grace Lin has found a way to create a readable easy reader that doesn’t condescend as it reminds us that it’s okay to look for differences in people.  We have so many lessons about all people being the same, it’s nice to find a book for younger readers that acknowledges differences, even celebrates them.

Lin’s illustrations match the simple text well.  The bold, black outlines and predominantly primary colors complement the stories.  The polka dots in their dresses on the cover are repeated in the end pages; the girls often wear the polka dotted dresses, which is a simple way of creating an image of the twins and carrying it through the book.  I think it’d be interesting to ask children to point out the similarities and differences between the girls.

Doubtless, this book belongs on the easy reader shelves of school and public libraries.  I’d also be sure it appears on pathfinders about twins.  It also belongs in a reading list of concept books about same-and-different.

By the way: Hats off for diversity; Lin has added much needed diversity to the easy reader/early chapter books shelves.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this won the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award….


Entry filed under: "Early" Chapter Book, ARC or galley. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that sometimes books are received for review for free by publishers or authors. All books (ARCs, galleys, library or purchased) will be reviewed fairly; no special consideration is given to anything reviewed on this blog. In addition, I make every attempt to avoid spoilers. Sometimes they happen inadvertently or because they are important to defend a review; not all spoilers have been removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement included as a warning to readers.

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