Flashback Friday: The Story About Ping – Marjorie Flack/Kurt Wiese

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ping

Click on the cover to watch an animated reading.

First published in 1933, The Story About Ping has remained a perennial favourite all around the world. Marjorie Flack’s story about a little domesticated duck who becomes lost on the Yangtze River was colourfully illustrated by Kurt Wiese.

Every day Ping and his very large family are allowed onto the banks of the river to nibble grass and every evening they are herded back onto their master’s boat. Ping knows that the last duck in the line each evening will get a little spank from the master so one day when he realises how late it is, he hides away to avoid the punishment.

Next morning the master’s wise-eyed boat has gone away and Ping is alone on the river. He meets some dark cormorants who are trained to fish for their master, he is captured by a little boy and it looks like duck will be on the menu for dinner! Luckily Ping manages to escape with the little boy’s help. After another lonely night Ping is most relieved to see the wise-eyed boat and his family all waddling up the narrow plank. He knows he will be the last duck in line but this time he knows that the spank is not so terrible after all!

I know that children with whom I have shared this story over the years have all loved which shows that a great classic picture book is an enduring treasure. My mum is 88 and still remembers it from her childhood!  It’s time I bought another copy to share with my grandchildren.

Highly recommended for children aged 5 and up.

The Book It Program has some activities to accompany the book.

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