My mother says I was too young to remember Auntie Luce painting me.
"You were only seven. Ou kwè ou sonje jou sa a?"
But I do remember . . .
"A stunningly beautiful book inspired by one of Haiti's greatest artists."
Edwidge Danticat, author of Krik? Krak!
"In this story full of the sounds, colors, and language of Haiti, the protagonist connects with herself, her family history, and the history of Haiti through her auntie Luce’s extraordinary art."
Kirkus * Starred Review
Coming October 2!
Every winter, a young girl flies to Haiti to visit her Auntie Luce, a painter.
The moment she steps off the plane, she feels a wall of heat, and familiar sights soon follow — the boys selling water ice by the pink cathedral, the tap tap buses in the busy streets, the fog and steep winding road to her aunt’s home in the mountains.
The girl has always loved Auntie Luce’s paintings — the houses tucked into the hillside, colorful fishing boats by the water, heroes who fought for and won the country’s independence. Through Haiti’s colors, the girl comes to understand this place her family calls home. And when the moment finally comes to have her own portrait painted for the first time, she begins to see herself in a new way, tracing her own history and identity through her aunt’s brush.
A story of heart, home and identity, connecting a Haitian American girl to generations of family love and lore.
Includes an author’s note and a glossary.
Publisher: Groundwood Books
Release date: October 2, 2018
Age level: 5-8
Author: Francie Latour
Illustrator: Ken Daley
Luce Turnier, Untitled, 1992
Francie Latour is a writer and editor whose work explores issues of race, culture and identity. She was a staff reporter for The Boston Globe for 10 years, and her essays have been featured on National Public Radio, the Today show, The Root and Essence. Her writing has also been anthologized, including in The Butterfly’s Way, edited by Edwidge Danticat.
Since 2012, Francie has worked in the field of diversity, inclusion, and equity. She coordinates a diversity initiative at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; she is also co-founder and co-director of Wee The People, a social justice project for kids based in Boston. This is Francie’s first picture book.
Francie, a mother of three, was born in the US to Haitian parents. She was inspired to write Auntie Luce by a chance encounter with the late Luce Turnier – one of Haiti’s most celebrated artists – who painted Francie’s portrait (left) in 1992, two years before the artist's death..
Francie and her family live in Boston.
Ken Daley was born in Canada to parents who emigrated from Dominica, and his illustrations for this book are inspired by his African Caribbean roots. Ken has also illustrated Joseph’s Big Ride by Terry Farish, an Ontario Library Association Best Bet. He has exhibited his art in Canada, the US and the Caribbean, and his work can be found in numerous private collections.
Ken divides his time between Cambridge, Ontario, and Providence, Rhode Island.
Ken Daley creates a perfect window into the world of Haiti as seen through the eyes of a Haitian-American girl — a world far different from the Haiti others tend to see.”
Eric Velasquez, Walter Dean Myers Award-winning illustrator of
Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library