Pages: 48 pp
Publisher: Little Brown & Co
School Library Journal
*Starred Review* 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.
Adorable twin sisters Ling and Ting are as funny and fresh as ever in their third early reader. In "The Garden," the first of six short episodes, Ting plants some now-ubiquitous cupcakes, hoping to grow more. When Ling explains that only seeds will grow, Ting asks if beans are seeds. After Ling confirms that indeed beans are seeds, Ting amusingly responds, "Then next I will plant jelly beans." The humor continues throughout the accessible text as the girls try to swing higher than trees, come up with an inventive plan to pick apples and discover that, as twins, they can read minds (it helps that Ting is "thinking nothing"). "Lucky Red Paint" reflects the girls' Chinese heritage when they paint their toys red, because the color is considered lucky in China. Finally, "Not a Silly Story" is a clever—and definitely silly—story that recaps elements of the previous five narratives. Ling and Ting take turns telling a story featuring two rabbits, a cupcake tree, a lucky red toy and mind reading. In addition, this culminating story depicts printed, childlike text on lined paper that will be familiar to most school-aged children. Once again Ling and Ting are not exactly the same, as Lin's vibrant, patterned gouache illustrations reflect their subtle and not-so subtle differences. These twins make learning to read double the fun.
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