Ling & Ting Share a Birthday by Grace Lin
The inimitable Grace Lin is at it again … she’s managed to create another polka-dotted, plaidly-decorated, toothsome little treat for younger readers. In a wink-wink-nod-nod to her faithful audience, she’s even added a little test at Bumble’s Books on page 11 and page 12. Just how many of those book covers can you name? How many of them are Lin’s, and how many belong to friends and colleagues? Methinks she might be having some literal fun with us.
But let this story be told! Yes, Ling and Ting are adorable twins, but as they explained in their 2010 literary debut, they “are not exactly the same”!
Their shared birthday – March 9, in case you were wondering; be sure to watch for all sorts of clues – is a six-part affair. It begins with a gift delivery of “Birthday Shoes” which requires a twinly adjustment, progresses to “Birthday Shopping” at separate stores for the appropriate surprise factor, baking “Birthday Cakes” which emerge with opposite degrees of fluff, sharing “Birthday Wishes” after a candle malfunction, opening the greatly anticipated “Birthday Gifts,” and sharing a “Birthday Story” about Ming and Sing who are not so much like Ling and Ting (thank goodness!).
As the twins’ birthday bash continues page after page, one small detail I noticed was the lack of parents (and friends?). Should I be concerned that we old folks have been written out of the picture? Ah, well, paranoia aside, we can still gleefully revel in the twins’ infectious whimsy!
Readers: Children, Middle Grade