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The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack Review

Title: The Story About Ping

Author: Marjorie Flack

First published January 1, 1933

32 pages, Paperback

ISBN: 9780448421650 (ISBN10: 0448421658)

Rating: 4.15


Meet Ping, a curious duck who lives on a boat in the breathtaking Yangtze River. While he loves his family and his kind owner, he fears being the last duck in line and receiving a loud spank as punishment.

So, one day, Ping decides to explore the river on his own. Follow Ping on his exciting adventure as he discovers the wonders of life on the Yangtze River.

The Story about Ping is a classic children’s book beloved for its spirited hero and its beautiful depiction of a far-off land and culture. Children will relate to Ping’s reluctance to be punished and will be captivated by his journey down the river.

Editoral Review

The Story About Ping, by Marjorie Flack, is a charming and timeless classic that has captivated readers for nearly a century. First published in 1933, this children’s book tells the tale of a young duck named Ping and his daily adventures on the Yangtze River in China.

Flack was an American illustrator and author who created a multitude of beloved children’s books, including Angus and the Cat and Ask Mr. Bear. In Ping, she uses a simple yet evocative style to bring the story to life, with text that flows seamlessly alongside her vibrant illustrations.

At its core, The Story About Ping is a coming-of-age story that explores themes of independence, fear, and belonging. The plot follows Ping as he sets out on a quest to avoid being the last duck to return to the boat at night, leading him to confront a series of challenges and meet a cast of memorable characters along the way.

The setting of the book is particularly noteworthy, as it provides a glimpse into traditional Chinese culture and everyday life in a bygone era. Despite its vintage origins, The Story About Ping remains relevant to modern audiences, both for its universal themes and its historical and cultural significance.

The book has been translated into multiple languages and adapted into various formats, including an animated TV special and a stage play. In terms of its critical analysis, The Story About Ping is a well-written and well-crafted work that showcases Flack’s mastery of storytelling.

From the vivid descriptions of the river to the quirky personalities of Ping’s fellow ducks, the book is filled with rich details and nuanced character development. The pacing of the plot is also commendable, as it keeps readers engaged with a series of heartwarming and suspenseful moments.

However, some readers may find that the book’s simplicity and brevity leave them wanting more depth and complexity. Additionally, there is some criticism about the portrayal of Chinese characters and culture through the lens of a Western author, as it can be seen as a product of its time and may perpetuate stereotypes or inaccuracies.

Overall, The Story About Ping is a delightful and entertaining read that is well worth its place in the canon of children’s literature. For parents looking to introduce their children to classic tales that stand the test of time, this book is a must-have addition to any library.

Its lessons on courage, perseverance, and kindness are just as relevant today as they were when first published nearly a century ago. The Story About Ping receives a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.