Ling and Ting, by Grace Lin
Reviewed by Children’s Library volunteer Sarah Grandin
Ling and Ting are twin girls, but as the subtitle of the book states, they are “Not Exactly the Same.” After reading the book to Lucy, age 6, I asked her how she thought the two were different. “Well, one is perfect, and the other’s not,” Lucy mused. My young critic hit the nail on the head. In the book’s six chapters– which treat subjects as fun and varied as dumplings, haircuts, and magic tricks– Lin shows us how Ling and Ting navigate everyday adventures. These are made humorous by Ting’s struggles to sit still, remember things, and control her dumpling-stuffing. Life wouldn’t be nearly as much fun if everything went according to plan!
Though this thoughtfully illustrated and digestible chapter book is perfect for an early reader, adults will also enjoy the vibrant watercolors and the winking nods at storytelling, which include a self-referential story within a story and helpful hints in the margins from the main characters that the book has started and then ended.
New @ the Library! You can find Ling and Ting in the Children’s Library with the I CAN READ books under EL.
Bink & Gollie written by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile.
Reviewed by Children’s Library volunteer Liz Gomes.
Bink and Gollie have two very different personalities, but are the best of friends. They go on 3 different adventures, during which they will need to learn how to compromise. This witty-award-winning story will make you laugh out loud.
New @ the Library! You can find Bink & Gollie at the Children’s Library I Can Read Section, under ED
Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things, by Leonore Look and Leuyen Pham
Reviewed by Children’s Library volunteer Robert Preston
The subtitle of the novel is Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things, which gives the reader some insight into the challenges Alvin faces. He is a very shy but sweet boy in elementary school who can’t manage to say anything at all while at school. This behavior makes him ignored by most of the other students, apart from one girl. Her name is Flea and she wears an eye patch, which Alvin thinks is cool. She can read how Alvin is feeling by looking at the expression in his eyes. However, Alvin is suspicious of her because she is a girl and he wants to make friends with the bigger boys in his class, despite being scared of them. He overcomes his fear of talking and makes friends with one of the boys named Pinky. But ultimately Alvin has to decide who his real friends are because Flea and Pinky don’t get along. The book shows the challenges a young boy faces as he tries to make steps towards discovering who he is and feeling comfortable with it. Also, the illustrations are great and assist the narrative well.
New @ the Library! You can find Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things in the Children’s Library with the Juvenile Fiction under J LOO.