31 Jan Watercress by Andrea Wang
“Watercress” is a picture book based on the story of a young Chinese girl who is riding in a car with her parents through Ohio when her parents see watercress growing on the side of the road. At first the girl is very embarrassed and doesn’t understand why they are getting food in a ditch. But then her mom talks about her family’s life in China which was difficult and the girl then understands the importance of their foraging for food. This book is based on the author’s childhood experiences.
This book is appealing to young readers for many reasons. First, a child who can relate to the story personally may feel seen and relate to the story. If young readers are not part of Chinese culture, they can learn about the experiences and identities different than their own. Children may also relate to this story through its intergenerational focus and feeling embarrassed about their family culture. Lastly, young readers may enjoy this story through the beautiful watercolor illustrations by Jason Chin, which use Chinese painting techniques.
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