Ling & Ting: Twice As Silly

illus. by Grace Lin. 48p. Little, Brown. Nov. 2014. Tr $16. ISBN 9780316184021. LC 2013041479.
RedReviewStarPreS-Gr 1—Those irrepressible twins are back with more sweetly goofy antics in a third installment of the easy reader series. Six short chapters deliver on the title's promise; each episode unfolds with pitch-perfect comedic timing, ending with a chuckle-worthy (and decidedly silly) punch line. From forays into gardening (Will cupcakes grow if planted like seeds?) to musing about how high they can swing (Higher than a tree that goes into outer space!), the girls' lives are grounded in realistic childhood experiences, embellished with their creative imaginings. Lin helps emergent readers tell the difference through clever visual cues; the pretend and "what if" scenarios are distinguished by squiggly frames. As in the first two books, the gouache illustrations pop with vibrant color and texture. Lin's images help support the text, while extending the humor with subtle details in facial expressions and body language. Though each chapter can be enjoyed on its own, the various threads come together in the last chapter when the sisters co-create their own story—a book within the book. Fans of Ling and Ting will be delighted to see a few nods to previous adventures, while new readers will want to get to know these funny sisters better. A winning addition to a delightfully fun series. —Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal
In the twins' third easy reader, six stories each conclude on a goofy note perfectly attuned to early readers' developing sense of wordplay (e.g, when Ling finds messy Ting covered with paint: "I said 'Paint everything'! I did not say 'Paint everyTING'!"). Bright borders surround each illustration, with straight-edged frames morphing into bubble-shapes for scenes that take place in the girls' imaginations.
Lin's third Ling and Ting easy reader (Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same, rev. 7/10; Ling & Ting Share a Birthday, rev. 9/13) is certainly a silly one, with each of the six stories concluding on a wonderfully goofy note perfectly attuned to early readers' developing sense of wordplay. In the first chapter, pragmatic Ling encourages outside-the-box thinker Ting to try planting seeds when the cupcakes she plants fail to grow. "'Are beans seeds?' Ting asks. 'Yes,' Ling says. 'Beans are seeds.' 'Good,' Ting says. 'Then next I will plant jelly beans.'" In the second story, Ling asks Ting to paint her toys red. "Paint everything." When she returns to find messy Ting covered with paint, Ling laughs and says, "I said 'Paint everything'! I did not say 'Paint everyTING'!" As in the previous books, each chapter features a different pastel-color background, helping new readers transition from story to story; brightly colored borders surround each illustration, with the straight-edged frames fittingly morphing into bubble-shapes for scenes that take place in the girls' imaginations. Lin's terrific twins are double the fun in this affectionately daffy addition to the series. jennifer m. brabander

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