Academic journal article Language Arts

Little White Duck: A Childhood in China

Academic journal article Language Arts

Little White Duck: A Childhood in China

Article excerpt

Little White Duck: A Childhood in China Written by Na Liu Illustrated by Andrés Vera Martínez Graphic Universe, 2012, 108 pp., ISBN 978-0-7613-6587-7

This striking graphic novel contains eight short stories about two sisters, Da Qin (Big piano) and Xiao Qin (Little piano) who grew up in China during the 1970s. The sisters go by their nicknames so that the bad spirits and luck will not find them. In the first story, Da Qin describes a somber day when Chairman Mao dies and her mother can't stop crying. As a young child, she doesn't understand what is happening, but she later learns that Communism helped her parents overcome sickness and poverty. In another story, titled "The Four Pests," she explains the pests that plague China-the rat, the fly, the mosquito, and the cockroach. Da Qin's homework assignment is to fetch four rattails for her teacher. The sisters devise a couple of traps to bait the rats but can't fathom cutting the tails off. …

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