Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite
Ling and Ting, Not Exactly the Same features two young Chinese-American girls who are identical twins. But they insist that "We are not exactly the same," and they are not. In six stories that the emergent reader can manage, they get haircuts, try out a card trick, make Dim Sum dumplings, try to eat with chopsticks, go to the library to borrow two books, and chase away a royal suitor. Ling sits still and Ting wiggles during her haircut. Ting forgets what card she drew when they do a card trick. Ling's dumplings are smooth and Ting's are fat, but at book's end, the twins admit that although they are not exactly the same, they do stay together.
Ling and Ting, Not Exactly the Same is a Theodor Seuss Geisel honor book and why it is an award-winning book is quite clear. It is a reader at the "Reading Independently" level, and because it is divided into six stories, the child learning to read on his/her own can work through one story at a time. The colorful pen and ink illustrations compliment the text which is based upon what little girls do in real life. The story about Ling and Ting using chopsticks is hilarious as Ling refuses to glue or tie food to her chopsticks. Nor does she want Ting to feed her. She will use a fork, thank you! Ling and Ting's Chinese cultural background is portrayed accurately. Ling and Ting is a delightful easy reader that belongs in school and library collections.