Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.


Little White Duck: A Childhood in China (Single Titles)

by Na Liu

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2252491,748 (3.84)4
A young girl describes her experiences growing up in China, beginning with the death of Chairman Mao in 1976.
  1. 00
    Mao's People: Sixteen Portraits of Life in Revolutionary China by B. Michael Frolic (lifeguardsleeping)
    lifeguardsleeping: while "white duck" might target youth/teen audiences, "mao's people" is an excellent companion piece given the scope of its oral histories/interviews and ease of reading. it's a compelling collection that speaks to the wide range of experiences in the cultural revolution. for teachers, stories can be easily excerpted.… (more)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
Somewhat disappointing. Little White Duck: A Childhood in China is a collection of eight childhood memories by the author Na Liu (“Da Qin”), illustrated by her husband, American cartoonist Andrés Vera Martínez.

The book’s description “Da Qin and Xiao Qin soon learn that their childhood will be much different than the upbringing their parents experienced”, made it sound like it was going to be a study on the transformation Chinese society underwent following the death of Mao Zedong (the first memory in the book) and the reforms of Deng Xiaoping. It really covers neither. The stories are set in Wuhan between 1976 and 1980, and for the most part could be about an upbringing anywhere rural. Na Liu’s parents briefly recall the trauma of the Great Leap Forward, but nothing so dramatic happens to their children. (Obviously this is a good thing, though from a storytelling perspective I was far more interested in Na Liu’s parents than Na Liu herself). I actually didn’t feel out of my cultural comfort zone really at any point – most of these stories would not have been out of place in contemporary rural America.

Martínez’s artwork is fine, though nothing really stands out. The book is too short to go into much detail in any of its stories, unfortunately. What are the consequences of Na Liu being unable to properly attend school due to the One Child Policy? Why exactly is her grandmother so mean? How did she end up in Texas? What was the rural-urban divide like? I think the book is probably best simply to reminder young-ish children that there’s a whole world beyond their own out there. But A Chinese Life remains the best graphic memoir of life in China that I’ve read. ( )
  pvoberstein | Dec 14, 2020 |
Good, a bit intense, but too short! I was left wanting more abs feeling like this book was incomplete ( )
  Punkerfairy | Jul 12, 2020 |
Beautiful. Several small anecdotes of a small child's life in China in the late 70s, with lots of cultural details woven through. The death of Chairman Mao and New Year celebrations are two of the stories, but equally important are the ones to do with learning about the lives of others (visiting family in the country; having to finish every scrap of rice on the plate while a parent tells the story of the great famine the lived through).

Both the prose and the illustrations are elegantly simple - the kind of effortless that typically takes much work. ( )
2 vote fred_mouse | Dec 4, 2019 |
This autobiographical story shows what life was like in China during the 1970s through the eyes of a young girl. There are eight retellings of different events and memories.
  Auhewitt | Feb 4, 2018 |
I need some time to process these stories in historical context. It was certainly very interesting to hear the voice of a child growing up in communist China. The fact that these were true stories from one person's life was really new to me, especially since so much was presented in a positive light. Too much of what I've been taught about communist China is all the negatives and never the first person experience, which is of course filled with the positive AND negatives of real life. ( )
  lissabeth21 | Oct 3, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
We would like to dedicate this book to our family in China and daughter Mei Lan. - Andrés and Na
First words
Ni Hao!
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


A young girl describes her experiences growing up in China, beginning with the death of Chairman Mao in 1976.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.84)
2 1
3 14
3.5 5
4 27
4.5 3
5 8

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 159,243,897 books! | Top bar: Always visible