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The Story about Ping (Viking Kestrel picture books) Hardcover – September 25, 1933

4.5 out of 5 stars 340 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Marjorie Flack was born in 1897. She was an award-winning author and illustrator of children s books, with sixteen titles to her credit. Among her best-loved books were The Story about Ping, illustrated by Kurt Wiese (and made famous by the TV show Captain Kangaroo), and her series of five books about Angus, a lovable pooch, which she both wrote and illustrated. Her book The Boats on the River, illustrated by Jay Hyde Barnum, was a Caldecott Honor Book in 1947. Although Marjorie Flack died decades ago, in 1958, many of her titles remain in print today.

Kurt Wiese (1887-1974) illustrated over 300 children s book and wrote and illustrated another 20 books. He received two Newbery Awards and two Caldecott Honor Book Awards.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 920 (What's this?)
  • Series: Viking Kestrel picture books
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers; First edition thus. edition (September 25, 1961)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670672238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670672233
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (340 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #732,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
PING! The magic duck!
Using deft allegory, the authors have provided an insightful and intuitive explanation of one of Unix's most venerable networking utilities. Even more stunning is that they were clearly working with a very early beta of the program, as their book first appeared in 1933, years (decades!) before the operating system and network infrastructure were finalized.
The book describes networking in terms even a child could understand, choosing to anthropomorphize the underlying packet structure. The ping packet is described as a duck, who, with other packets (more ducks), spends a certain period of time on the host machine (the wise-eyed boat). At the same time each day (I suspect this is scheduled under cron), the little packets (ducks) exit the host (boat) by way of a bridge (a bridge). From the bridge, the packets travel onto the internet (here embodied by the Yangtze River).
The title character -- er, packet, is called Ping. Ping meanders around the river before being received by another host (another boat). He spends a brief time on the other boat, but eventually returns to his original host machine (the wise-eyed boat) somewhat the worse for wear.
If you need a good, high-level overview of the ping utility, this is the book. I can't recommend it for most managers, as the technical aspects may be too overwhelming and the basic concepts too daunting.
Problems With This Book
As good as it is, The Story About Ping is not without its faults. There is no index, and though the ping(8) man pages cover the command line options well enough, some review of them seems to be in order. Likewise, in a book solely about Ping, I would have expected a more detailed overview of the ICMP packet structure.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Like many of the reviewers, this is a book I loved as a child and that I've returned to now that I'm a parent. While it has a moral--that many times, simply accepting an umpleasant consequence is better than trying to avoid it--it's not preachy about it. In fact, what's really nice about the storyis that it's not Ping's fault that he will be the last duck to board the boat (and thus get a whack upon his back). His head was below the water at the time, and he couldn't have heard the boat master's call. I think this is what gave me a thrill as a boy. I knew that the world wasn't fair and that sometimes punishments were unjust. This is what made me identify with Ping.
And the book really taps into a young child's fears. I remember being thrilled that Ping ran away instead of accepting his punishment--what small child hasn't fantasized about running away? And I remember thinking how terrifying to wake up and find that you were totally lost in the wide world--what child's greatest fear isn't that sort of separation?
I think that's the greatest thing about this story. It's not a tidy, pat treatment of issues like children's anxieties or the value of accepting the consequences of your actions. Rather, it's a tale that provokes imagination--that taps into those fears and ideas without simplifying them. And there are too few books that do this well.
Incidentally, in terms of age, I've just begun reading this book to my four year old, and I think that's been a good age for him to start appreciating it. But I can imagine a much older child enjoying it as well.
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Format: Paperback
When I was a kid growing up in the south, I used to read this book over and over. That was in the 1960's, when the Chinese, who's side we were on during the war, were a people we were supposed to hate, and the Japanese, who we hated during the war, were a people we were supposed to like. Nevermind all those reruns of anti Japanese war movies that were still playing on TV at the time.
The wise-eyed boat, the fishing birds with the rings around their necks, the boy with the wacky hairdo and peculiar barrel tied to his back. The hand-made wicker basket and complete absence of anything material or useless.
It humanized Asians for me in a way that was not only healthy, but induced a curiosity of the region and its peoples that I have still yet to satisfy, even after living for 18 years of my adult life in Northeast Asia. (Maybe I'm still running away from that dreaded spank!)
Every time I see those Peking ducks strung up in those shop windows in Hongkong I can't help but think of Ping and his mother and his father and two sisters and three brothers and eleven aunts and seven uncles and forty-two cousins.
Read Ping to your kids. It just might change their lives!!
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Format: Paperback
Well this book certainly dated itself when it mentioned the word "spank". It is amazing to me how people take something like that and instantly start twisting and turning the words around to make it sound so horrible. Ping was not beaten in this book. Yes he got a tiny tap on the rear as a reminder that he needs to be punctual and quick when it is time to get going. Otherwise he may get left behind on the big, scary Yangtze river. yes he did almost end up as someone else's lunch. However, i see this as a springboard for many coversation starters with your child i.e.: the eating of ducks in China, the danger of running away from your problems, and of course the kindness of the boy who releases Ping, saving him from his fate. If you are looking to spare your children any sort of scary, uncomfortable situation possible then stay clear of this book and pretty much all other books for that matter. However if you are seeking a book that will create plenty of opportunities for conversations about the consequences of actions then you may like this classic story about little Ping. The illustrations are warm and clear. They look like colored pencil was used. And last but not least, the Chinese people in the story were certainly NOT portrayed in a negative light. But leave it to our society to cry "racism!" at almost any depiction of another culture... sheesh!!
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