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|Auntie Luce's talking paintings|
Author: Latour, Francie
A story of heart, home and identity connecting a Haitian American girl to generations of family love and lore.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (07/15/18)
School Library Journal (+) (00/09/18)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 09/01/2018 Gr 1–4—On a visit to Haiti, an unnamed girl's Aunt Luce paints her portrait. Woven together with the girl's feelings and her aunt's endearments, the "talking paintings" bring to mind fragmented tales. Portraits of notable figures from the country's history provide subtle openings to sharing facts. Family members promote personal reflection of identity and belonging. Generally positive and always child-centered, the stories necessarily brush against the violence mixed in with any country's history. Aunt Luce comments, "To paint Haiti takes the darkest colors and the brightest ones, and all the colors in between." Such natural metaphors and poetic ideas will make this a good choice for sharing aloud in the classroom and creating emotional connection to a subject of study. Furthermore, the illustrator's Afro-Caribbean roots amplify the love song the Haitian American author has composed to Haiti. The deep, rugged browns flecked with abstract orange, pink, purple, and blue highlight the lifelike beauty of the characters. The broad brush strokes and intense colors keep the visuals vibrant and highlight the joyful exuberance of the island. VERDICT An excellent selection for exploring deep connections to Haiti through love, family, history, and art.—Erin Reilly-Sanders, University of Wisconsin-Madison - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 10/15/2018 In this semifictional account of Latour’s childhood relationship with the famous Haitian artist Luce Turnier, the narrator recalls a childhood journey from her home in the U.S. back to Haiti, where her family is from, to stay with Auntie Luce. During her visit, Luce teaches her about her Haitian heritage, Guinean ancestors, and people from her family who were involved in the development of her hometown. The girl compares these tales with snippets of eavesdropped adult banter about politics and exile, resulting in a childlike, fragmented understanding of why her parents left the island. The narrative is lush and lyrical, capturing the romance of nostalgia as well as the concrete thoughts of the child. Daley’s acrylic illustrations burst off the page in deeply saturated, vibrant colors that echo but do not imitate Luce Turnier’s own art. This is an homage to the artist and to the author’s memories of Haiti, which comes alive here in all its complexity; “To paint Haiti takes the darkest colors and the brightest ones, and all the colors in between.” - Copyright 2018 Booklist.