Little White Duck: A Childhood in China

The world is changing for two girls in China in the 1970s. 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… Read More →

  • Lexile: 710
  • ATOS: 3.2
  • Dewey: 741.5'973
  • Copyright: 2012


“This is a beautiful introduction to a China that few of us will ever understand.” —starred, Library Media Connection View →


“‘Little White Duck’ isn’t Communist propaganda. It is at once more innocent and more sophisticated. What Liu and Martínez do is convey a child’s-eye view of a country in transition. Politics, culture and history play into their stories, but the… View →


“Liu and Martínez find the universal moments in the details of an exotic land, inviting readers to see themselves in Da Qin’s experiences of friendship, family and country. An extraordinary graphic novel-memoir by a husband-and-wife team offering a rare view of 1970s… View →


“With this intimate look at her childhood memories, Liu skillfully weaves factual tidbits into the rich tapestry of her life…Beautifully drawn and quietly evocative.” —starred, Kirkus Reviews View →


“The stories are vivid even without Martinéz’s bold artwork that evokes both traditional Chinese scrolls and midcentury propaganda posters. The result is a memoir that reads like a fable, a good story with a moral that resonates.” —Booklist Online View →


“Based on her childhood experiences, Na Liu and her husband have created a rich, multilayered memoir, incorporating history, geography, language, culture, and mythology into eight short stories; then weaving them together to create an exquisite tapestry of life in China during the… View →


“Author and illustrator together give us an unvarnished and intimate account of a real childhood: plain-speaking, rough-hewn, and very much down-to-earth. While the time and place the book depicts are very different from our own, there’s not a hint of sentimentality or… View →


“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… View →


Recommended Reading Living History Little White Duck: A Childhood in China by Na Liu; illus. by Andres Vera Martinez (Graphic Universe, 2013) Gr 4-7-Each short chapter tells of a different aspect of Liu’s childhood in 1970s China: her parents’ grief at the View →