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. (Early reader. 5-8)