Synopses & Reviews
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.
“...this vibrant title is bound to teach, empower, and rumble the bellies of its readers.” Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
“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.” School Library Journal (Starred Review)
“This tale features characters for whom cooking is an elaborate dance as well as family bonding, and the soup looks so tempting readers will swear they smell it. A stunning and necessary historical picture book.” Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
About the Author
Tami Charles is the author of numerous books for children, including her fiction debut, Like Vanessa
. During an appearance on Good Morning America
, she featured a Thanksgiving version of Freedom Soup, which she first learned to make from her husband’s ti gran. Tami Charles lives in New Jersey.
Jacqueline Alcántara, the illustrator of The Field by Baptiste Paul, was selected for the inaugural We Need Diverse Books Mentorship program. She lives in Chicago.