Ling & Ting: Twice as Silly is the third book in what is, in my mind, an early reader series that belongs in every school library collection. The early reader market is dominated by books aimed at kids who enjoy laugh out loud humor, namely Dr. Seuss, Elephant & Piggie and Fly Guy books. In contrast, Ling & Ting is a well-written early reader series for kids who enjoy reading stories about realistic, relatable characters.
My favorite book in the Ling & Ting series remains book #1 — Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! — where we first meet twin sisters Ling and Ting. We learn that Ling has more self-control than Ting. Ting is exuberant and forgetful. When the two make dumplings, Ling closes here dumplings tight “so their money will not get away.” In contrast, Ting puts lots of meat in her dumplings “so that they will be very rich.” While these two sisters are not exactly the same, it becomes clear that they are best friends.
Ling & Ting: Twice as Silly is a solid addition to the Ling & Ting series. Three books seems like the magic number of books that makes a series a series, and it’s great to see that we have a new early reader series on our hands. With Ling & Ting: Twice as Silly, fans of the first two Ling & Ting books have more stories to enjoy and an opportunity to get to know Ling and Ting better.
Here is an excerpt from Ling & Ting: Twice as Silly:
While the text of the Ling & Ting books sounds a bit stilted to adult readers, these books are perfectly written for kids who can sound out words but still have a limited sight word vocabulary. Author Grace Lin sticks with short sentences, uses lots of repetition, and includes illustrations to aid in comprehension. Lin does not extend the story with the illustrations but instead reinforces the information she is conveying with the text. The Ling & Ting books are divided into six short stories, with a punch line at the end of each. Beginning readers can start by reading one short story at a time.
The final, sixth chapter in each Ling & Ting book offers readers who have successfully read the first five chapters a special treat. In chapter 6 of Ling & Ting: Twice as Silly, Ling and Ting write a silly story that is a mixed up version of the five stories Lin has told us in the first five chapters. This final chapter reuses vocabulary that readers are familiar with from the first five chapters. Readers who have worked hard to sound out new vocabulary words in the first five chapters have the opportunity to practice rereading these words and are rewarded with lots of laughs.
The Ling & Ting books are exemplary early readers. They belong in the arsenal of all teachers and parents enticing emerging readers to read.
Recommended for: Ages 4-8. Kids who are learning to read and enjoy books with realistic, relatable characters. The Ling & Ting series provides the perfect challenge for kids who can read very simple early readers (e.g. the Biscuit series) but are intimidated by challenging early readers (e.g. the Frog and Toad series).
About Author Grace Lin
I had the pleasure of hearing author Grace Lin speak a few years ago at KidLitCon in New York City. With her newborn child in tow, she effortlessly gave a talk that was both understated and fascinating. Here is a short, four minute version of the wonderful talk that I heard, in which Grace Lin describes initially rejecting and later rediscovering and embracing her Chinese heritage.