Monday, July 08, 2013

Nonfiction Monday: Little White Duck

Little White Duck: A Childhood in China Na Liu, illustrated by Andres Vera Martinez

So, I may have been a little over-excited about this one. There aren't a lot of books about post-Mao, pre-Tiananmen China. Let alone for kids. Let alone in comic book form. Na Liu was a small child when Mao died and everything changed. In a series of short stories, she shows glimpses of her childhood, comparing it with how her parents grew up during the Great Leap Forward and Great Famine. In one memorable story, she accompanies her father to his country home and sees how privileged her life really is. This will be enlightening to American readers, as Na Liu's life isn't easy compared to modern American standards-- I don't know of any America schools where kids are assigned the duty of killing rats, and have to bring in the tails as proof.

That said, I wanted more. I wanted more context and more history for these stories. I don't think that will turn off of confuse the intended audience-- if nothing else more context might overwhelm the younger readers this is aimed at. There's enough her to understand what's happening, and I think it's great for children. But, as an adult reader, I did want something more than a few childhood vignettes--especially because this is a time period SO unexplored across all age-ranges, formats, and genres. It's a great book for kids, but it left me a little underwhelmed.

Today's Nonfiction Monday is over at Abby (the) Librarian.

Book Provided by... my local library

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