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.
Andrea Wang is the award-winning author of The Nian Monster and Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando. She was inspired to write Watercress by her experience growing up in rural Ohio as a child of Chinese immigrants. Andrea holds an M.S. in Environmental Science and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing for Young People. She lives in Colorado with her family.
A Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection!
★ “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
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