Lin swaps her trademark cupcake for birthday cake in this cheery follow-up to Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same (2010).
Sporting the same haircuts they received in the first book, Chinese-American identical twins Ling and Ting return with six short stories that center on preparations for their sixth birthday. “Birthday Shopping” reveals their playful humor as each girl tries to surprise the other by entering different stores. In the toy store, Ting selects a yo-yo that she obviously wants and hopes Ling will share, and in the bookstore, Ling does the same with a book that she hopes to read. Clever readers will notice that the bookstore carries many of Lin’s titles and that Ling’s selection is none other than a miniature-sized version of the original Ling & Ting. The girls’ differing personalities and sisterly affection continue to shine in “Birthday Cakes.” As they make their own birthday cakes (because of course, each girl needs her own), Ling carefully reads the cookbook, while Ting goes about the chore with spontaneity. When only Ling’s cake is edible, she cuts it in half to share with Ting. The stories build on one another, culminating in their birthday wishes coming true. Once again Lin’s richly colored gouache artwork, based on 1950s children’s textbook illustrations, gives reason enough to celebrate.
Tw-inspiring fiction for beginning readers. (Early reader. 5-8)