cover image Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same!

Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same!

Grace Lin, Little, Brown, $14.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-316-02452-5

Twins will find endearing advocates in Ling and Ting, Chinese-American twins who good-naturedly defy people's assumptions that they are interchangeable. "We are not exactly the same," Ling replies to this common comment. "Ting laughs because she is thinking exactly the same thing!" Six entertaining tales are blithesome slices of life that exemplify their uniqueness and companionability. In the first, Ting and Ling get haircuts, but "Ling can always sit still. Snip! Clip! The barber cuts Ling's hair in a smooth line." Not so with Ting, who wiggles, sneezes, and ends up with an asymmetrical hairdo that unquestionably sets her apart. Each scenario––ranging from making dumplings to giggling over card tricks gone wrong––is captured in framed, photo-sized illustrations with old-fashioned charm. The girls wear identical, feminine dresses, again challenging the reader to look beyond exteriors. The final tale, a fantasy spun by Ting, tells of spurning a king who cannot decide which of them to marry: " ‘But the twins told the king to go away. They were not exactly the same,' Ting says, ‘but they always stayed together.' " Ages 6-9. (July)