Friday, March 4, 2011
Book Feature: The Story About Ping
This week in preschool our theme is ducks. The book I have chosen to go with the theme is The Story about Ping. We've had this book for a while, but I had never read it before this week. The story itself is a bit long for a two year old, but we made it through it! The plot is about a duck named Ping who lives on a boat with his large family of ducks. Each day they all leave the boat and then return at night when they are called. The last duck to get on the boat gets spanked with a whip by the man who drives the boat. One evening Ping realizes that he will be the last duck on the boat, but he didn't want to get spanked, so he did not get back on the boat. The story tells of his adventures while off of the boat. At one point he gets captured and almost finds himself on a plate as dinner. Eventually, of course, he finds his way back to the boat and his family. This time he again sees that he will be the last duck on the boat, but is willing to take the consequence instead of braving another night on his own.
I really like this book. I love that it shows that decisions have consequences. I love that Ping tried to do it his own way, but in the end he realized that doing the right thing was the better choice and accepted the punishment.
When I read the book, I immediately contrasted it to the Curious George stories. Curious George always tells a fun tale, but my problem is that he is always bad or disobedient in some way, but never gets in trouble for it or has to pay any consequence. In fact, from what I've seen, he is always praised for the good he caused even though it was disobedience that caused the good. I guess it's the old "the end justifies the means" argument that I don't agree with. My children have to choose to make good decisions and when they don't they have a consequence. I don't want them to get the idea that it's cute or fun to make bad decisions or that everyone will think that they are just great in the end no matter what. Real life isn't like that. The Story About Ping teaches this lesson in a way that is still simple and interesting enough for a child's story.
And that is what I like about The Story About Ping!