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I bought this book because I want to write a children’s book and do all the illustrations. I wanted a book for inspiration to look at. I bought this book because I really liked the story! The illustrations are great too. ❤️
Watercress is beautifully written and illustrated. I have been using it for my memoir students. It's a perfect illustration of the container essay but my grandkids, the intended audience hated it. It's a great book for adults but a lousy one for kids.
Watercress is a short picture book that a very large number of people seem to absolutely love. I picked it up because it was a Newbery Honor book. To be completely honest, I am at a loss to understand why.
I won't describe the plot (such as it is), because the publisher's blurb pretty much gives it away. On its Amazon page it is designated "Editor's Pick: Best Books Ages 6-8". When I was seven, I'd have immediately seen this as a book intended to tell me that I should Stop Complaining, because Things Could Be So Much Worse. (Please -- seven-year-old kids are not stupid. They may be naïve, and there's obviously a lot about how the world works that they haven't yet had time to learn, but they can definitely recognize a scolding.) There's also a message about how the children of immigrants often have difficulty connecting with their parents' past. But that story has been told better than this many times.
But here's the big problem: There's no FUN! It's hard to imagine any seven-year-old kid wanting to read this a second time.
I loved the beautiful Jason Chin illustrations and Andrea Wang’s story. It is written in a way that gives young readers just enough without being too heavy handed. This was a great addition to our fourth grade immigration unit and I know I will enjoy reading it each year to my new class.
I'm always surprised when a children's book can sweep me up into an emotional response. The simple prose and perfect illustrations seamlessly deliver a compelling story of family, home, and perspective. This book will surely prove a timeless classic and would make an absolutely lovely gift to any reading family.