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The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack

The Story About Ping (original 1933; edition 1977)

by Marjorie Flack

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2,722432,167 (4.14)26
Title:The Story About Ping
Authors:Marjorie Flack
Info:Puffin (1977), Edition: Reissue; Open Market Ed, Paperback
Collections:Your library, To read
Tags:children, fiction, read, 1970s

Work details

The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack (1933)

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» See also 26 mentions

English (41)  French (1)  All (42)
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
A traumatic tale of a young duck separated from his family, almost cooked for dinner, and finding his family again. Very cute. I like it because I raised two young runner ducks like those in the story, and they were every bit as personable and silly as these. ( )
  MrsLee | Dec 4, 2016 |
3.5 stars ( )
  JennysBookBag.com | Sep 28, 2016 |
Absolutely a wonderful story. I read this as a child and it remains in my heart to this day. ( )
  Icewineanne | Aug 4, 2016 |
Since 1933, The Story About Ping has captivated generations of readers, but never before has it been available in a mass-market paperback format. No one can deny the appeal of the book's hero, Ping, the spirited little duck who lives on a boat on the Yangtze River. Ping's misadventures one night while exploring the world around his home form the basis of this timeless classic, which is brought to life by Kurt Wiese's warm and poignant illustrations.
  wichitafriendsschool | Mar 25, 2016 |
This review is also available on my blog, Read Till Dawn.

I know, I know. Since when I do even read - let alone review - baby books? Well, I'll tell you when: since my AP English teacher assigned a book review of The Story About Ping. I've been struggling to find time to blog between my four AP classes and the (very time-consuming) process of applying to colleges. Thus, when I saw that I had to write a book review for school I jumped at the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

Anyway, on to the review. I originally read The Story About Ping when I was little. Going into my re-read, all I could remember was that it involved a baby duckling who gets lost when his family's boat leaves without him one morning. It turns out that I remembered correctly; what I'd forgotten was why Ping is left behind. You ready for this? The last duck on board their boat gets a spanking from the man who owns the boat. Ping sees that he'll be last, because he didn't hear the call to come back to the boat, and decides that he'll just sleep in the water that night instead so he doesn't get spanked.

Yeah. For real. I think it's supposed to be a lesson about the dangers of avoiding your rightful punishment, but I'm sitting here going "wait, why is the guy spanking his ducks? And why does Ping 'deserve' a spanking for making an honest mistake? And wouldn't this sort of arbitrary punishment make all of the ducks reluctant to come home at night, not just Ping?"

I'm just not so keen on the man's duck-keeping skills in general. For example, we see in multiple pictures that the ducks board the boat single-file with him standing right there (which is why he is able to spank the last duck on the boat). Does he just sit there, picking his nose and waiting to hit a duck, instead of actually counting the stream of birds passing in front of him? Surely a more responsible duck-keeper would keep track of his ducks, and count them before driving off to a new place altogether. Sure, Ping shouldn't have chosen not to board, but the man should have noticed that someone wasn't there. I mean, come on!

Maybe I'm reading too much into it. This is a kid's book, right? I can definitely see kids falling in love with The Story About Ping for the same reason they become obsessed with any story: they're kids, and they latch on to just about any random thing that catches their fancy. I personally don't fancy this story very much, both because of believability issues and because it seems a little creepy in parts - especially when Ping sees the birds who have choke collars around their necks that won't let them swallow the fish they catch.

But then, I'm really not one to talk: my childhood obsession was Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree. ( )
  Jaina_Rose | Mar 1, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Flack, Marjorieprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wiese, KurtIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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First words
Once upon a time there was a beautiful young duck named Ping.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
A little duck finds adventure on the Yangtze River when he avoided boarding his master's houseboat one evening.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0448421658, Mass Market Paperback)

The tale of a little duck alone on the Yangtze River, The Story About Ping is a sweet and funny book with wonderfully rich and colorful illustrations. On a day like any other, Ping sets off from the boat he calls home with his comically large family in search of "pleasant things to eat." On this particular day, he is accidentally left behind when the boat leaves. Undaunted, the little duck heads out onto the Yangtze in search of his family, only to find new friends and adventures--and a bit of peril--around every bend.

The exceptional illustrations bring the lush Yangtze to life, from Ping's family to the trained fishing birds he finds himself among to the faithfully rendered boats and fishermen. Certainly intended to be read aloud, The Story About Ping deserves a place on every young reader's (or listener's) shelf. (Picture book)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:35 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

A little duck finds adventure on the Yangtze River when he is too late to board his master's houseboat one evening.

(summary from another edition)

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