Little White Duck: A Childhood in China

Na Liu, Author, Andres Vera Martinez, Author, Andres Vera Martinez, Illustrator
Na Liu and Andres Vera Martinez. Lerner/Graphic Universe, $9.95 trade paper (108p) ISBN 978-0-7613-8115-0
Open Ebook - 112 pages - 978-1-283-93668-2
Ebook - 112 pages - 978-0-7613-7963-8
Library Binding - 108 pages - 978-0-7613-6587-7
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A doctor of oncology and hematology, author Liu was born in China in 1973, and her life there for more than 20 years provides plenty of odd autobiographical tidbits for this graphic novel inspired by her experiences. Aimed toward kids, Liu’s story captures life in China in the experience of one child, showing how even the broadest governmental policies and cultural standards affect an individual’s smallest moments. These darker corners give Liu’s reminiscence its power: strict Chinese one-child laws, the graphic misfortune of animals in China, the poverty and surliness of Liu’s rural relatives. Yet while the landscape is different, the children’s escapades are the same as those of kids today. This is the result of a husband-and-wife collaboration, and the emotional bond of the partnership is clear on every page. Liu is a calm storyteller whose words are enlivened by Martinez’s enthusiastic and energetic art, and their respective tones complement each other fluidly. Martinez’s work is a loving depiction of his wife in childhood, providing atmosphere through not only his period details in the stories, but also the between-story spreads that broaden the reader’s scope in understanding life in China at that time. Ages 9-13 (Oct.)
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