Friday, July 23, 2021

Picture Book - Watercress by Andrea Wang

Illustrated by Jason Chin
Endpapers:  Dark Aqua
found at Bosler
2021 Neal Porter Books, Holiday House
32 pgs.
Goodreads rating:   4.61 - 1131 ratings
My rating:  4.5
1st line/s:  "We are all in the old Pontiac, the red paint faded by years of glinting Ohio sun, pelting rain, and biting snow."

My comments:  Being a child of immigrants, and poor, the little girl protagonist of this story  doesn't want to stop by the side of the road to forage in the muck for watercress that remind her parents of their growing up in China.  And later she doesn't want to eat it.  But in a simple though perfectly worded story, Andrea Wang, shows the little girl a huge amount of history, memories, and sorrow from the mom's life in China.  A gentle story with a whopping take-away.

Goodreads:  Gathering watercress by the side of the road brings a girl closer to her family's Chinese Heritage.
          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.

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