[Reading] ➸ Little White Duck: A Childhood in China (Nonfiction - Grades 4-8) ➮ Na Liu – Dcrjservices.co.uk

Little White Duck: A Childhood in China (Nonfiction - Grades 4-8) pdf Little White Duck: A Childhood in China (Nonfiction - Grades 4-8), ebook Little White Duck: A Childhood in China (Nonfiction - Grades 4-8), epub Little White Duck: A Childhood in China (Nonfiction - Grades 4-8), doc Little White Duck: A Childhood in China (Nonfiction - Grades 4-8), e-pub Little White Duck: A Childhood in China (Nonfiction - Grades 4-8), Little White Duck: A Childhood in China (Nonfiction - Grades 4-8) cd7183356a4 The World Is Changing For Two Girls In China In The S Da Qin Big Piano And Her Younger Sister, Xiao Qin Little Piano Live In The City Of Wuhan With Their Parents For Decades, China S Government Had Kept The Country Separated From The Rest Of The World When Their Country S Leader, Chairman Mao, Dies, New Opportunities Begin To Emerge Da Qin And Xiao Qin Soon Learn That Their Childhood Will Be Much Different Than The Upbringing Their Parents Experienced


10 thoughts on “Little White Duck: A Childhood in China (Nonfiction - Grades 4-8)

  1. says:

    A curious graphic novel comic strip collection of eight episodes from the author s childhood, between 1976 and 1980, when she was aged three to seven, and China was just beginning to open up to the world It s personal and educational It is illustrated by her husband, and produced for their young daughter, born and raised in the USA, so it s suitable for children as young as six or seven It gently describes hardship, politics, and propaganda, balanced bygeneric childhood emotions and exp A curious graphic novel comic strip collection of eight episodes from the author s childhood, between 1976 and 1980, when she was aged three to seven, and China was just beginning to open up to the world It s personal and educational It is illustrated by her husband, and produced for their young daughter, born and raised in the USA, so it s suitable for children as young as six or seven It gently describes hardship, politics, and propaganda, balanced bygeneric childhood emotions and experiences, portrayed with charm The colour palette is muted, and toned down further for the flashbacks to her parents youth As well as the eight chapters, there s a glossary, timeline see below , Na Liu s autobiography she moved to the US in her twenties, as a medical researcher, and is now a doctor , translations of Chinese characters used in poems and posters in the illustrations, and a simple map of China, and of Hubei province In the book, she s known by her childhood nickname, Da Qin.Eight varied memoriesWuhan, ChinaAfter meeting her family, we have a bird s eye view of Da Qin s home city.A Sad, Sad DayThe profound national shock and sadness at Mao s death creates deep but uncomprehending sadness in Da Qin Her parents explain how Mao improved opportunities for people like them The Four PestsSmall children have a part to play in ridding the nation of pests but it s not pretty Da Qin s memories are followed by a page explaining the earlier disaster of including sparrows as pests they d been exterminated on the assumption they ate too much grain, but without them eating insects, harvest plummeted, triggering famine Don t Waste Your Food Children are Starving in China Her parents survival of that famine is why they won t tolerate waste.Image Flashback to famine using darker colours than the main storiesMarch 6 is Lei Feng DayGood intentions go horribly comically awry, as Da Qin and her younger sister try to emulate Lei Feng by helping others The cult of Mao and the cult of Lei Feng were two faces of the same coin one was the cult of personality the other, its essential corollary, was the cult of impersonality. Jung Chang in Wild Swans see my review HERE Happy New Year The Story of Nian the MonsterAn origin myth for dragons and fireworks at Chinese New Year, and a typical children s story of a monster vanquishedor less The scariest picture, of Nian chasing people through the town, is diluted by the fact they re adults, plus the addition of a couple of comical ducks and a few other animals My New Year FeastFood, especially at festivals, is a deep part of culture and memories This reminiscence includes close ups of the feast.Image Grandmother s house, looking like a dolls house Little White DuckThe final story starts with book loving Da Qin s reticence at meeting the grandmother she doesn t remember and that her mother doesn t like She s excited to travel on a train smarter than some I usedrecently , but reels at the culture shock of a poor village, where the children are illiterate That prompts introspection and gratitude for what she has Ducks and cranesThe book s title comes from an embroidered duck on Da Qin s favourite jacket that features in the final piece above , but white cranes are the recurring motif see cranes in Chinese mythology , often with Da Qin and Xiao Qin flying on one.Image Flying above the city WuhanWhen I ordered this, I didn t know that it s set in Wuhan, nor that by the time it arrived, I would be under lockdown because of the COVID 19 pandemic which started in that city But I just ate lunch in my garden, in cool bright spring sunshine I m currently well, and I have happy memories of China friendly people, delicious food, stunning scenery, and amazing sights, though we only spent a few hours in Wuhan itself Image Being piped ashore, Wuhan, 2008Chinese history timelineSummarised in just seven points there s a littledetail in the book 551 BCE, Confucius born 246 BCE 1912 CE, Imperial era 1927 1949, civil war between Chinese Nationalist Party and Communist Party 1943, Mao Zedong becomes leader of the Communist Party 1949, People s Republic of China created 1958 1961, the Great Leap Forward, including The Four Pests campaign and the Great Famine 1962, Lei Feng, of the People s Liberation Army, dies in an accident aged 22 and is touted as a role model 1966 1976, the Cultural Revolution 1976, Chairman Mao dies, and China begins to loosen up and open up.Thanks to Swaroop and David S for putting this on my radar


  2. says:

    I m rating this on my personal enjoyment of this book The author and illustrator did do what they set out to do a snapshot of life for two girls growing up around the time of chairman Mao s death I found the way killing either by accident or on purpose, and torture of birds, animals and insects in the story really disturbing when shown surrounded by smiling children Obviously the author is describing events that happened The description of what I can only call the anal rape of an animal wi I m rating this on my personal enjoyment of this book The author and illustrator did do what they set out to do a snapshot of life for two girls growing up around the time of chairman Mao s death I found the way killing either by accident or on purpose, and torture of birds, animals and insects in the story really disturbing when shown surrounded by smiling children Obviously the author is describing events that happened The description of what I can only call the anal rape of an animal with an object by children was horrible, especially when it was shown in an almost comical way The rest of the book is interesting, informative and depressing Most readers seemed to have enjoyed this book


  3. says:

    A graphic memoir for tweens and perhaps somewhat younger children by a wife and husband team, Na Liu and illustrator Andres Vera Martinez Liu grew up in Hubei Province of China and helps me learn of a world I knew little about, from a child s perspective We learn of life in rural China after the death of Chairman Mao, whom her family revered we learn about The Four Pests and the misguided and tragic killing of one of them, millions of sparrows, which brought on The Great Famine We learn of A graphic memoir for tweens and perhaps somewhat younger children by a wife and husband team, Na Liu and illustrator Andres Vera Martinez Liu grew up in Hubei Province of China and helps me learn of a world I knew little about, from a child s perspective We learn of life in rural China after the death of Chairman Mao, whom her family revered we learn about The Four Pests and the misguided and tragic killing of one of them, millions of sparrows, which brought on The Great Famine We learn of Chinese New Year as it was practiced there, we learn of great poverty and sadness and small joys, friendships, but ach That sad cover painting of An Liu Told in eight vignettes, illustrated appropriately for the time period and informed by cultural research and memory 3.5, for me, rounded up because of the art.Here s a look


  4. says:

    It s funny to think about, but the fact of the matter is that we re still in the early days of the graphic novel memoir for children Adult graphic novel memoirs are capable of winning top literary awards, like the Pulitzer or the National Book Award On the kid side of things the options are farlimited The top literary prize for kids, the Newbery, has never been handed to a comic work, nor does the American Library Association have a prize for comics of any sort All this comes to mind w It s funny to think about, but the fact of the matter is that we re still in the early days of the graphic novel memoir for children Adult graphic novel memoirs are capable of winning top literary awards, like the Pulitzer or the National Book Award On the kid side of things the options are farlimited The top literary prize for kids, the Newbery, has never been handed to a comic work, nor does the American Library Association have a prize for comics of any sort All this comes to mind when I pick up a book like Little White Duck Couched in the memories of its author, this groundbreaking work is perhaps the finest marriage of world history and comic art for kids I ve seen in a very long time A must read for young and old alike.Told in eight short stories, the book follows Da Qin the middle class daughter of two parents, living in the late 1970s early 80s Through her eyes we see a number of small stories about growing up in a post Mao China There s the tale of how she and her younger sister attempted to emulate their nation s heroes by helping some thirsty chicks to an unfortunate end, I m afraid , or the one about having to bring in rat tails to prove she was great at pest control There s the story of how Mao s death affected the nation, and useful facts about China during this era Most impressive is the titular story about Da Qin and what happened to the white velvet duck on her jacket when she and her father visited the village where he was born Honest, sometimes funny, and unusually touching, this glimpse into another life in another world rings distinctly true.This book has been a reason for serious debate amongst the librarians of my system Some wondered about the seemingly unconnected stories and whether or not they gelled properly Others fretted that there wasn t enough context given about growing up in China during the post Mao era Still others wondered about the authenticity The book was then handed to a co worker of mine who grew up in China during the same time period as Na Liu she was floored The details of the book were straight out of her own childhood She held up one picture to me of popped rice, explaining what it was and how she had never seen it portrayed in a book before So on the reality front the book certainly ranks an A.Actually, when I asked my Chinese co worker to read the book in the first place she was hugely reluctant Turned out, she just didn t want to read yet another kid s book about the Cultural Revolution, and who could blame her I would say that the vast swath of books for kids set in China are solely interested in Cultural Revolution stuff stuff that my poor co worker would be forced to vet time and time again Part of what makes Little White Duck work is that without didacticism it simply tells a true story about some of the people who were helped by Mao s rule Da Qin s parents were poor and thanks to changes were able to get an education and treated for polio The book makes no bones about the hungry times under Mao, but it s rare to get a nuanced view in a work for youth Heck, the first story in the book is about the massive weeping that occurred in Da Qin s village when Mao died and about her very realistic child response of crying because everyone else was crying around her That s honestly Liu s greatest strength with this book She creates universal stories from her youth that anybody can enjoy, even as she sets them in a very specific time and place That s why the fact that they are individual stories rather than one overarching storyline work for me Each one is like a little glimpse into a realistic kid s life.Not to mention the fact that the book deals with class in a remarkable way I ve a real penchant for children s books that know how to deal with class differences Bad works of children s literature will usually feature a poor kid hating a rich kid and then inevitably discovering Gee whiz, we re not so different after all Smart books for kids handle this enormously complex idea in candid, thoughtful ways Anna Hibiscus could do it by showing the difference between middle and lower classes in contemporary Nigeria Little White Duck is the same, using its titular story to tell the tale of Da Qin and her father visiting the poor village where he grew up Reading that story I went into it confident that I knew how it would work When Da Qin s father tells her to go play with the village kids I was sure they d be mean to her and she d learn something Instead they re perfectly cordial They are, admittedly, fascinated by the little white velvet duck on her coat and the dirt on their hands coat it black with all their petting Then for fun, because they can t afford books like she can, they put sticks up buzzing insects and run about The next shot is a shell shocked Da Qin sitting on a train seat while her father asks obliviously, Did you have a good time I loved that I loved seeing her encounter kids with less at such a young age and coming to an understanding of how lucky she was.One librarian I spoke too worried that because there are so few books for kids out there, children reading this book today might assume that it shows contemporary China and not the China of the past Honestly I don t think that s a huge danger It s possible that will happen, sure, but Liu covers her bases for the most part, and the brown palette of the art gives everything a historical taste Now the art poses an interesting question Created by Texan artist Andres Vera Martinez, this is at least his second foray into graphic novels for kids The style is perfect for the story too Filled with details realistic, but also fun, it s a properly moving tone for a book that is sometimes thoughtful, sometimes sad, sometimes funny, and always interesting Now that brown palette I alluded to earlier could potentially prove detrimental There is an understanding out there that kids will not read black and white comics True There is also and understanding that kids will not read books with brown covers Also true So what do we make of books that are comics colored in a lot of brown I m not quite sure but I m confident that any kid who reads a story or two in the book will be hugely inclined to continue to do so Good art and writing win out.Liu says in the book that she wrote it so that her daughter might get a glimpse into what it was like growing up Sometimes family stories just aren t enough You ve gotta show, not tell Even now, when I show a book like this to adults, some of them will say to me, But what kid would ever read it There s this continuing perception that unless a comic has superheroes or manga characters it, no kid will want to read it This does kids a serious injustice We don t ask why kids would ever pick up a memoir like Diary of a Young Girl even when there are copies of Harry Potter available The wonderful thing about kids and comics is that some readers will pick up anything, just so long as there are panels and speech balloons to be had In other cases you have kids that like comics but aren t big fiction and fantasy readers For them we hand over this book Perhaps the strongest graphic novels for kids of the year and undoubtedly unique, this is one way of teaching world history through a lens that cannot be matched Thoroughly and entirely remarkable.For ages 9 12


  5. says:

    This book is eight true short stories about a young girl growing up in China starting in the late 1970s It talks about the reaction to Mao Zedong s death, famine the country faced, the Lunar New Year and its celebrations, traveling to the countryside and recognizing class differences, and the four pests that leaders wrongly told citizens to kill like the sparrows threatening farms China in the 1970s and 80s is so different from the connected, global world we live in today The types of acti This book is eight true short stories about a young girl growing up in China starting in the late 1970s It talks about the reaction to Mao Zedong s death, famine the country faced, the Lunar New Year and its celebrations, traveling to the countryside and recognizing class differences, and the four pests that leaders wrongly told citizens to kill like the sparrows threatening farms China in the 1970s and 80s is so different from the connected, global world we live in today The types of activities and conversations depicted in this book are of that time period it s tough to read at times but it is Na Liu s truth, and she discusses being a part of this transitional generation in the afterword I learned new things reading this short graphic work the art is great, too, using lots of sepia brown tones I thought the style fit the story well


  6. says:

    This book is very awesome.


  7. says:

    I m not really sure what the purpose of this book was The author described her childhood in 8 brief, unconnected stories Na Liu s family benefited from communism and Liu, accordingly, had a very different view of the world than her poor, rural cousins did The vignettes in this story shed a spotlight on the country s reaction to Chairman Mao Zedong s death, the Lunar New Year celebrations, traveling to the countryside and recognizing class differences, and the five four pests that leaders comm I m not really sure what the purpose of this book was The author described her childhood in 8 brief, unconnected stories Na Liu s family benefited from communism and Liu, accordingly, had a very different view of the world than her poor, rural cousins did The vignettes in this story shed a spotlight on the country s reaction to Chairman Mao Zedong s death, the Lunar New Year celebrations, traveling to the countryside and recognizing class differences, and the five four pests that leaders commanded citizens to kill, without understanding the disastrous ecological implications this would have on nationwide crop production I thought the artwork was lovely and the earth toned coloring supported the narrative.Some of the ideologies espoused by citizens in the book are alarming to modern Westerners like me I found the casual killing and torture of birds, animals and insects in the story to be disturbing and deeply unsettling Having teachers put pressure on students to bring dead rat tails to ensure that all citizens were doing their part only engendered dishonesty in students who couldn t produce any animals This is a picture book, which is intended to be read to a young audience but this book is not suitable for young children


  8. says:

    Tash read it first because China and Graphic Novel Now that I ve finished it, I really want Veronica to give it a go We just had a conversation about how Chairman Mao was both responsible for a tremendous amount of death and suffering and was also beloved by many people, for bringing a nation from subsistence farming into industrialization This collection of incidents in the life of a modern Chinese girl born 1973 , helps explain those two extremes On the one hand, education, health care, f Tash read it first because China and Graphic Novel Now that I ve finished it, I really want Veronica to give it a go We just had a conversation about how Chairman Mao was both responsible for a tremendous amount of death and suffering and was also beloved by many people, for bringing a nation from subsistence farming into industrialization This collection of incidents in the life of a modern Chinese girl born 1973 , helps explain those two extremes On the one hand, education, health care, food, on the other hand, poverty, squalor, back breaking work.The point is made, but not belabored.Library copy


  9. says:

    The cover of this book shows a brooding or angry or unhappy girl looking straight at the reader, her gloved hands at her sides, one of them holding a purse A few bare branches in the distance are a little seasonal flag and I imagine it must be late fall or winter or early spring The girl takes up most of the frame She wears a green coat with a little white duck sewn on, just about the center point of the page A striped scarf is tied neatly around her neck Its off white and orange matches th The cover of this book shows a brooding or angry or unhappy girl looking straight at the reader, her gloved hands at her sides, one of them holding a purse A few bare branches in the distance are a little seasonal flag and I imagine it must be late fall or winter or early spring The girl takes up most of the frame She wears a green coat with a little white duck sewn on, just about the center point of the page A striped scarf is tied neatly around her neck Its off white and orange matches that of her gloves It is dusk or dawn in this image The sun rises or sets, leaving an orange blush in its wake Something is about to begin, both timeless and distinctly set in a certain time A child is about to set off an adventure and she will on one hand have the support of her parents, and on the other hand, be completely on her own this book reminds me of the strange childhood world in which things have very different meanings than they do when we are adults We are just trying to figure things out, and often we haven t a clue what s going on, and often, we have our own versions of reality, that can be quite fantastical It might not take other readers so long, but it took me a few minutes to make sense of the rest of the picture, the author s father standing behind her with his hand on her head He is a large presence, and yet one that is at a distance He is too big of a presence to fully make sense of her experiences He protects her in the larger ways, and yet, to some degree, her experiences cannot be reached or explained by the adults around her.It s not until the end of the book we find out the story of this particular coat whose little white duck becomes the title of this book In the mean time, we read a little introduction explaining Chinese naming conventions, and 7 other stories, some longer and full of historical events, school experiences, curiosity, confusion and emotional experiences that are distinct to childhood Wuhan, China and My New Years Feast are only a few pages long, andlike poetry Happy New Year, The Story of Nian The Monster, and March 5 is Lei Feng Day, describe the specialness of holidays and also the magical mythology of holidays There is a lot of humor and pathos in these stories They have a simplicity and eloquence, a graceful clumsiness They capture something elemental about childhood experience and I think kids will really relate to them, and as for adults, well, I tend to think all good kids books have a lot to offer their adult readers This is created by a husband and wife team, Na Liu and Andres Vera Martinez I love looking at illustrations on Martinez s website He describes himself as an illustrator and educator, and his work shows a great range, a lot of skill at drawing emotion and movement, landscapes both magical and real I wonder if they will continue collaborating I look forward to seeingof their work separate or in collaboration


  10. says:

    This is a really hard book to review On the one hand the author is to be lauded for bringing her growing up to a wider and younger audience, on the other I know too many adult Chinese perhaps of a generation older than her who suffered terribly under Mao The saying ren shi ren arose in the great famine where people were literally eating other peoples children to survive Her parents benefited from communism as the were born on the right side of the wrong side of the tracks If they d b This is a really hard book to review On the one hand the author is to be lauded for bringing her growing up to a wider and younger audience, on the other I know too many adult Chinese perhaps of a generation older than her who suffered terribly under Mao The saying ren shi ren arose in the great famine where people were literally eating other peoples children to survive Her parents benefited from communism as the were born on the right side of the wrong side of the tracks If they d been intellectuals or landowners it would have been a different story And yet, it is a lovely book, and beautifully illustrated I think what I d like to see is several parallel books growing up if your parents were sent to be re educated Growing up as one of her illiterate cousins, growing up as her paternal or maternal grandparents Only then do I think could her life be seen in context And those are all books that need to be written


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