Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Story About Ping

The Story About Ping was first published in 1933 by Majorie Flack and Kurt Wiese and has become a classic to several generations.  Kurt Wiese drew from his six year experience living in China when he illustrated The Story About Ping (read a brief bio here). 

This tells the story of Ping, the "beautiful young duck" who "lived with his mother and his father and two sisters and three brothers and eleven aunts and seven uncles and forty-two cousins."  Ping's adventure unfolds when he chooses to camp onshore overnight in attempt to escape his master's swat for being late.  Take a trip down the Yangtze River with Ping as he seeks to reunite with his family.  As Ping soon discovers, separation proves a harsher fate than a consequent swat for tardiness.

I'd love to know how many of you recall this cleverly spun tale and wonderfully illustrated classic from your own childhood.  Recommended for ages 5-8, it's a staple for every child's book collection.


  1. Yes! I recall that book as a child. Back then, I didn't think anything of someone getting a spanking. But today, I suppose that book would be questionable. And so would many of the Grimms's Fairy Tales my dad used to read to me. Some were quite horrifying by today's standards.

  2. Oh, Emily! I adored this book as a child. We were so delighted to buy it for the pixies. I was a little taken aback by the the way the people were almost caricatures of meanness - something I didn't pick up as a child.

    I'm so intrigued that it's recommended for 5-8 year olds as we read it to Joshua when he was about 2. Time to get it out again, methinks! J x

  3. Funny, my mother-in-law kept my husband's childhood books - she's the one who introduced this one to me as an adult and my kids. The kids were alarmed by the 'tap', but I think for the longest time we just omitted that part when reading it to the kids. We always read it when we are at their home at the lake, so it brings back good memories :)

  4. I was curious if anyone would mention the areas that have sparked controversy over the past few years. Good eye, you three!

    What's my personal take? As those of you that have commented have already suggested, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater! As you read, recall the 1933 publishing date along with "My North's" thoughtful comparison to Fairy Tales.

  5. Good thinking, 99! It's all about context. J x