Watercress | Andrea Wang | Diverse Children&

Watercress | Andrea Wang | Diverse Children's Books | Asian Book

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Driving through Ohio in an old Pontiac, a young girl's parents stop suddenly when they spot watercress growing wild in a ditch by the side of the road. Grabbing an old paper bag and some rusty scissors, the whole family wades into the muck to collect as much of the muddy, snail covered watercress as they can.

At first, she's embarrassed. Why can't her family get food from the grocery store? But when her mother shares a story of her family's time in China, the girl learns to appreciate the fresh food they foraged. Together, they make a new memory of watercress.

Andrea Wang tells a moving autobiographical story of a child of immigrants discovering and connecting with her heritage, illustrated by award winning author and artist Jason Chin, working in an entirely new style, inspired by Chinese painting techniques. An author's note in the back shares Andrea's childhood experience with her parents.

From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 3-Simple text and beautiful illustrations pack a strong emotional punch in this picture book. Based on the author's own memories of being the child of Chinese immigrants in Ohio, the story follows a young girl who is in the car with her family. They spot watercress growing in a ditch and stop to collect it for their dinner later. The girl refuses to eat it, embarrassed of how they got their food, as well as their used furniture and clothes, believing that "Free is bad." Her parents don't understand her humiliation as she doesn't understand their excitement over the meal. Words are used sparingly; the illustrations complete all that is left unsaid. The most poignant spread is when the girl's mother tells them about their uncle and how there was never enough to eat. On one page, her little brother holds up his empty bowl; on the next, his seat is empty. Readers of various ages will want to discuss the layers of miscommunication between cultures and between generations, and how to be more mindful of others' experiences. But the work is far more than a lesson. A tightly woven piece of story and watercolor art is exemplified in one spread, where the the cornfields of Ohio become the famine-stricken land of China. VERDICT A powerful story sure to awaken empathy and curiosity: Who else left behind a homeland, and at what cost?-Elissa Cooper, Helen Plum Memorial Lib., Lombard, ILα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

"Wang's multilayered, poetic text allows anger, guilt and grief to coexist with love and hope. Chin's captivating watercolor art, executed with a mix of Chinese and Western techniques, combines meticulous, gut-wrenching realism with dreamlike panoramas."—The New York Times

"Children often don’t understand why their parents act as they do; parents often forget to explain. 
Watercress reminds us of the importance of filling in those gaps."—The Wall Street Journal

"An understated, visually stunning exploration of memory and family history."
—The Boston Globe

★ "An adept gem of a picture book"
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

★ "Understated, deep, and heart-rending—bring tissues."Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

★ "Simple text and beautiful illustrations pack a strong emotional punch . . . A powerful story sure to awaken empathy and ­curiosity"
School Library Journal, Starred Review

★ "this quietly affecting book encourages honesty, communication, and sharing of family history."—
The Horn Book, Starred Review

★ "
Watercress is a delicate and deeply felt exploration of memory, trauma and family."BookPage, Starred Review

★ "It’s a deft exploration of the information and emotion gap between parents, especially immigrant parents, and children, and it may give space for kids to learn more about their own family history and customs . . ."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Starred Review

★ "Through powerful poetry and exquisite illustrations, the daughter of immigrants relates an emotional childhood memory that opened the door to her Chinese roots."—
Shelf Awareness, Starred Review

"The story reveals the chasms that can separate first-generation immigrant parents from their Americanized children and how confronting past traumas from another country and time can bring a family closer together. Chin’s illustrations masterfully bring to life the vast cornfields and colors of rural America."
 —Booklist
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Neal Porter Books (March 30, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 32 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0823446247
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0823446247
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 6 - 10 years, from customers
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ AD610L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ Preschool - 3
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 11.4 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • UNSPSC-Code ‏ : ‎ 55101500

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