Ling Cho and His Three Friends

Book review by
Whitney Stewart, Common Sense Media
Ling Cho and His Three Friends Book Poster Image
Twisting story of loyalty and humility.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Two characters are dishonest to their generous friend.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that children may not understand the resolution of this beautifully told story with the guidance of an adult.

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What's the story?

Friendship and honor are tested when a wise and wealthy man helps his impoverished neighbors. In this twisting story of loyalty and humility, the story and artwork draw in the reader. Children may have to pause and think before they understand the subtle theme of this original tale.


Is it any good?

First-time author Pacilio has perfected both poetic craft and story line in this rhyming tale. The rhythm of his couplets never overshadows the humor of the tale or the richness of his language. The only squeak in Pacilio's narrative song is the slight confusion in the resolution of the tale. Although adults will smile at Ling Cho's backhanded wisdom, children may not get it.

Children will understand that Ling Cho's first two friends make up untrue and wild tales, and they may wonder why Ling Cho does not become angry. When Ling Cho then turns a scolding eye on the third friend who tells the truth, children may not grasp that Ling Cho offers a good deal to this honest man, and nothing to the others. However, the ending allows children and adults the opportunity to talk about the story and discuss human behavior. Children enjoy the humorous, expressive, and energetic illustrations of Scott Cook.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about consequences. What lesson is Ling Cho trying to teach his friends? They also can talk about charity -- both giving and receiving. Why do his friends reject his offers of help?

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