by Tami Charles
A young girl and her Haitian grandmother joyfully cook Freedom Soup in this story of Haiti's successful struggle to end slavery.
"Know why they call it Freedom Soup?" Ti Gran asks.
"Because it's free?"
It is the same answer that I always give. Ti Grans laughs her loud, belly-deep laugh.
"Oh, Belle. Nothing in this world is free, not even freedom."
She begins to tell a story, the same one she tells every year. A story of the place she was born: Haiti.
The illustrations, created with gouache, pencil, and marker, are alive with color, joy, music, and dance. Ti Gran wears a brightly colored yellow dress and matching headwrap, and Belle wears long cornrows and an apron to match her grandmother's dress. Both Belle and Ti Gran move expressively and dance while cooking and storytelling. The extended family that gathers to enjoy their traditional Freedom Soup on New Year's Day is large, happy, and celebratory.
The triumph of the historical revolution is not depicted with blood and misery, but rather with proud Haitians boldly marching to war with bare feet and makeshift weapons.
A Freedom Soup recipe and Author's Note round out this wonderful picture book suggested for Grades K-4.
My copy of Freedom Soup was provided by LibraryThing Early Reviewers.