August 22, 2019


Written and illustrated by Ani Castillo
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
48 pp.
Ages 4-8
September, 2019 

Ping is both subtly complex and powerfully simple in its message about communication and connecting with others. It says loads about how to do it, when to do it, and the need to accept how others return that communication. Like the game of ping-pong–the premise upon which the story is based–there is a give and take between communicants that must be respected to ensure successful connections are made.
My friend,
in this life...

...we can only PING.

The PONG belongs to the other.
From Ping by Ani Castillo
Ani Castillo highlights the multitude of ways you can Ping (note that the verb "Ping" is always capitalized). It can include using your voice or painting or using a computer. It can be with small or large gestures, and you can Ping to one or many. But it's the approaches to Pinging that are most impressive. With many adverbs, Ani Castillo recommends Pinging freely, generously, wisely, kindly, persistently, hopefully, and mindfully. However, even with those intentions, you must still wait for the Pong and accept it as given. It may come as expected or not but it will be the basis for new connections regardless.
From Ping by Ani Castillo
Best known for her cartooning, Ani Castillo's illustrations of amorphous characters in Ping will be relatable to all children. They're cute but unrecognizable and could be any person reading this book. But, with Ping, her debut picture book, Ani Castillo has found a voice that communicates with heart as well as art. She helps us see the importance of self-expression but always with thoughtful intent and consideration for the recipients of that expression. In a world of social media and the constant airing of opinions, we need to follow the sage advice that Pinging requires wisdom and responsibility. Regardless of the reciprocating Pong, we must Ping with humanity.  Shouldn't this always be the way with communication?
From Ping by Ani Castillo
Ping is about thoughtful discussion and that is exactly what it will inspire: conversations about how we communicate and how we should. It is learning and teaching in one, all with tenderness and understanding for our need to connect with others and how to do it effectively and with compassion.


  1. Replies
    1. It is. I think it'll spark a myriad of discussions for young and older children about communications of all kinds.