Reading Little White Duck: A Childhood in China was an interesting experience; I’ve never before seen Chairman Mao portrayed so positively. The funny thing is that it’s not at all a political book, but rather a series of vignettes about the author’s, well, childhood in China. Her parents, however, were both born into poor families, and they benefited from Mao’s policies. (She does quite a good job at portraying that without taking a political stand, actually.) If I were teaching, I would have my students read this and Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution together; the possibilities for a compare/contrast essay are endless. (Red Scarf Girl is incredibly compelling, and its naive narrator is perfect for its subject matter.) But I digress.
Little White Duck is another of the graphic novels I picked up for my oldest, and we both enjoyed it. It’s around a hundred pages and gives you a nice glimpse into a completely different life and culture while still being accessible to grade schoolers. Bottom line? Totally worth your time, even if the graphic novel format is still not my first choice. (If you’re wondering why I linked to Red Scarf Girl instead, it’s because that format really IS my first choice, but I promise–it’s completely a personal preference.)