Little White Duck: a Childhood in China
Na Liu and Andres Vera Martinez
Graphic Universe, 2012
FORMAT: Graphic Novel
AGES: Elementary School, Middle School
Na Liu grew up in China. Her childhood was very different from that of many young Americans around here. Yet, it was still a good childhood. She had parents who loved her and wanted her to succeed in life. This book is an illustrated story of some of the vignettes of this childhood. Stories of Chairman Mao dying, Chinese New Year traditions, or meeting her father’s family (wearing a jacket with a little white duck sewn on it).
The power of this book comes in the rich detail that each story holds. In illustrations, in descriptions, in details of life in a world that was so vastly different from one here in the United States. This book shows that even though life may be different in another culture, the story of life, learning, and growing is always the same.
Book Discussion Questions:
In what way was Na Liu’s childhood different from yours? In what way was it the same?
Why did her mother not want her to wear her jacket with the little white duck?
Should she have worn the jacket? Why or why not.
What traditions were important to her family?
How does her schooling compare to yours? How is it the same and different?
She talks about three ways to learn: from history, from another person, or through your own experience (which she says can be heartbreaking). What way do you tend to learn? Why? What way would you want to learn? Why?