Freedom Soup
Freedom Soup

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Annotation: Helping her grandmother prepare a traditional Freedom Soup to celebrate the new year, a young girl learns about her family's heritage as well as the soup's origins in the Haitian Revolution.
Catalog Number: #205478
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Illustrator: Alcantara, Jacqueline,
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-7636-8977-7 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-7168-7
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-7636-8977-3 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-7168-9
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2019939645
Dimensions: 28 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
In this immersive picture book, Charles and Alcántara transport readers to the kitchen of Belle and Ti Gran as they make a traditional Haitian soup. When Ti Gran asks Belle if she knows why it's called Freedom Soup, she replies, "Because it's free?" With a laugh, Ti Gran shakes her head and enlightens her granddaughter about the largest slave revolt in history, explaining how their ancestors fought against those who oppressed them on the day that is now Haitian Independence Day. Charles' writing is not only educational but eloquent. Each and every page effortlessly flows into the next, emphasizing the strength of Belle's ancestors and the poignancy of a beautiful, celebratory tradition created out of respect for those who fought for freedom. Alcántara does an equally wonderful job, imbuing her mixed-media artwork with lively movement and bold color while Belle and Ti Gran are busy in the kitchen and movingly juxtaposing those scenes with images of the Haitian revolution. This well-told story is a natural choice for multicultural holiday collections, as well as for sharing stories about heritage and tradition.
Publishers Weekly
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.)
School Library Journal Starred Review
K-Gr 2 It's New Year's Day, and Belle gets to help her grandmother, Ti Gran, make the Freedom Soup because the child "has a heart made for cooking." As Ti Gran teaches Belle the recipe, she retells the history of the injustices of slavery in Haiti, how the people fought and died in the revolution so Haiti could be free, and how the soup that they are making is a celebration of that freedom. Ti Gran's storytelling practically bursts with love and pride for the people who came before, and Belle (and readers) is swept up in her joy. The glorious, expressive illustrations will make everyone wish they had a Ti Gran in their lives as she and Belle exuberantly dance, snuggle, chop, and stir their way through the day. Belle says, "One by one, I slide the ingredients into the bubbling liquid. The pumpkiny-garlic smell swirls all around us." The image of the bubbling pot with a golden steamy aroma weaves the past and the present together as Ti Gran recounts her tale. Finally, as family gathers to celebrate and remember, Belle feels proud of the soup she helped make and connected to her family's past, present, and future. A recipe for Freedom Soup and an author's note are included. VERDICT From Ti Gran ceremoniously adorning Belle with a matching apron to the final view of city windows full of revelers, this book is a start-to-finish celebration of family, history, and culture. A delectable first purchase for libraries. Anna Haase Krueger, Ramsey County Library, MN
Word Count: 599
Reading Level: 3.3
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.3 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 506942 / grade: Lower Grades

Join the celebration in the kitchen as a family makes their traditional New Year’s soup — and shares the story of how Haitian independence came to be.

The shake-shake of maracas vibrates down to my toes.
Ti Gran’s feet tap-tap to the rhythm.

Every year, Haitians all over the world ring in the new year by eating a special soup, a tradition dating back to the Haitian Revolution. This year, Ti Gran is teaching Belle how to make the soup — Freedom Soup — just like she was taught when she was a little girl. Together, they dance and clap as they prepare the holiday feast, and Ti Gran tells Belle about the history of the soup, the history of Belle’s family, and the history of Haiti, where Belle’s family is from. In this celebration of cultural traditions passed from one generation to the next, Jacqueline Alcántara’s lush illustrations bring to life both Belle’s story and the story of the Haitian Revolution. Tami Charles’s lyrical text, as accessible as it is sensory, makes for a tale that readers will enjoy to the last drop.

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