• Happy birthday Frank Asch (Moonbear series, Milk and Cookies).
  • It’s the birth date of Barbara Cooney (1917-2000), Ox-Cart Man, Miss Rumphius, Eleanor, and Roger Lea MacBride (1929-1995), Little Farm in the Ozarks, In the Land of the Big Red Apple.
  • The Japanese city of Hiroshima was bombed in 1945. Thus, it is Hiroshima Day. Read Hiroshima by Laurence Yep, Hiroshima: The Story of the First Atomic Bomb by Clive A. Lawton, Hiroshima No Pika by Toshi Maruki, illustrated by Ed Young, and Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr, illustrated by Ronald Himler.
  • It’s National Mustard Day. Read The Wim Wom From Mustard Hill by Polly Peters, illustrated by Roberta Angeletti.
  • It’s National Fresh Breath Day. Read Squids Will Be Squids: Fresh Morals, Beastly Fables by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith, and Calvin Coconut: Zoo Breath by Graham Salisbury, illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers.

From August 5–7 in Twinsburg, Ohio, twins from around the world have come for festivities that include contests, talent shows, and fireworks. In years past this assembly has made the Guinness Book of World Records for being the largest gathering of twins at one time. Well, twins have always fascinated children, and literature for children has been rich with them ever since Lucy Fitch Perkins’s Twins series.

Last year a new entry into the twins canon presented some very fresh and exciting material. Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! by Grace Lin features twin girls in a chapter book ideal for emerging readers ages six through eight. The opening segment about these Chinese-American twins shows them visiting a barber. Ting sneezes at an inopportune moment, and she gets a chunk cut of her bangs. Consequently, it is easy for readers to tell them apart for the rest of the book.

The book’s six chapters present episodes in the lives of Ling and Ting. Because the girls look alike, people assume they are alike—but in fact they are quite different. These young girls go about their activities—making dumplings, playing magic tricks, going to the library—and enjoy being together and having a close relationship. However, they also insist on celebrating their unique qualities.

Grace Lin has created an original chapter book with two engaging protagonists, vocabulary just right for the audience, and the lure of twins as a subject matter. All twin books make me wish that I had one. Ling & Ting certainly makes the idea of having a twin quite attractive for young readers.

For anyone now in Twinsburg looking for a great book for the younger set, Ling & Ting fills the bill. For the rest of us, this Geisel Honor Book simply reminds us of what an accomplished writer Grace Lin has become over the last few years. With a range of books from Where the Mountain Meets the Moon to Ling & Ting, she has demonstrated that she knows how to craft beautifully written books—with great appeal for the intended audience.

Here’s a page from Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same!:



Originally posted August 6, 2011. Updated for .

Tags: Asian American, Award Winning, Family, Multicultural
Instructional materials from TeachingBooks.net for Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same!


  1. Maria Simon says:

    Grace Lin is remarkable. I hope we see lots more of Ting and Ling.

  2. karen kosko says:

    I just had a the opportunity to hear Grace Lin at the recent Simmons Symposium ‘The Body Electric’.
    Grace is energetic and talented and we are waiting for the next installment in the series.

Leave a Comment

Daily children’s book recommendations and events from Anita Silvey.

Discover the stories behind the children’s book classics . . .

The new books on their way to becoming classics . . .

And events from the world of children’s books—and the world at large.