Freedom Soup

Tami Charles, illus. by Jacqueline Alcántara. Candlewick, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-8977-3
Outside, it’s a snowy New Year’s Day, but inside, sunbeams shine through windowpanes, and pumpkin, garlic, and herbs synthesize with rhythmic kompa beats as a grandmother passes down a cultural family tradition. This year, it’s Belle’s turn to unwrap the secrets of her Ti Gran’s recipe for Freedom Soup, a time-honored Haitian dish made from epis (seasoning), marinated meats, vegetables, and pumpkin. After the two mash, peel, brown, slide, and dance, Ti Gran “begins to tell a story, the same one she tells every year,” in rhythmic, candid descriptions of Haiti’s days of slavery and then successful revolution (“to take back what’s theirs”). The dynamically detailed mixed-media artwork swirls with motion, feeling, and references to Haitian culture, and Alcántara (The Field) creates memorable characters in Ti Gran and Belle. Complete with a soup recipe and a personal note from Charles (Like Vanessa) honoring her family and Haitian history, this vibrant title is bound to teach, empower, and rumble the bellies of its readers. Ages 5–9. (Dec.)
Reviewed on : 10/10/2019
Release date: 12/10/2019
Genre: Children's
Compact Disc - 978-1-9749-9185-3
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