We are delighted to join the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2015 hosted by Alyson Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year, as well as reading challenges that we have pledged to join this year.
We have just launched our new reading theme for September – October: Crazy for Comics! Graphic Novel Galore!
Little White Duck: A Childhood in China
Written by: Na Liu Illustrated by: Andres Vera Martinez
Published by: Graphic Universe, 2012
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.
As the title indicates, this is a compilation of specific episodes from Na Liu’s childhood in China as illustrated by her husband, award-winning cartoonist Andres Vera Martinez. The entire graphic novel is divided into nine chapters including the Introduction (Ni Hao!) where Liu introduces herself:
Unlike Mao and Me, which provided a bleak description of what life was like under Chairman Mao’s ruling, Little White Duck opens with the death of “Grandfather Mao” – who surprisingly was depicted here with such loving gratitude.
Liu shared how her parents lives have been considerably improved through Mao’s ruling – again, a stark contrast to other stories I read previously (see here for my interview with Ying Chang Compestine, author of Revolution is not a Dinner Party). While there are still stories of poverty and a depiction of how vastly different Liu’s father’s family is like in the rural areas, making Liu grieve for her little white duck,
this is a largely positive portrayal of a life in transition, a story of hope and triumph, and a nostalgic look back at the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. Click here for a more detailed NY Times Review of this graphic novel.
Kirkus Reviews Best Children’s Book of 2012; SLJ Best Children’s Books 2012, Fiction; Horn Book Fanfare 2012, Fiction; 2012 Cybils Award Finalist, Elementary/Middle Grade Graphic Novels