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Auntie Luce’s Talking Paintings

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  124 ratings  ·  27 reviews
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 paint
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published October 1st 2018 by Groundwood Books
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3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  124 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Age: K-3rd grade
Art: Acrylic, Painter
Family: Aunt and niece
History: Haitian revolution
Identity: Haitian American protagonist, Haitian Aunt
Our Voices: Haitian American author, Dominican Canadian illustrator
Tough Issue: Revolution, mixed cultural identities

Every winter, Auntie Luce welcomes her American niece back to her home in Haiti. Affectionately called "Ti Chou," she fondly connects with Auntie Luce's paintings, especially portraits of herself that hold colors that she has never seen in a mir
Jourdan Booking
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The illustrations were gorgeous and authentic! They resembled the paintings I fell in love with as a child! I am Haitian American, and would have loved a children's book like this as a kid. Such a beautiful way to educate and instill pride. Whether the child is of Haitian Descent or not; this would we be great to expose your child to other cultures. Loved <3
Patricia McLaughlin
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A bit text heavy, but a compelling story about a girl’s visit to her Auntie Luce’s home in Haiti with colorful illustrations and a painterly version of Haitian history.
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautifully illustrated family story with a peek into the history of Haiti. Recommended for ages 6-9.
Anna Spears
Text to Text: In the story, Aunt Luce calls the girl a variety of pet names in Haitian. This reminds me of the book Outlander where the main character, Jamie, refers to his wife Claire using a variety of pet names as well, but always in Gaelic. It's intimate in both stories and the lack of definition as to what the words exactly mean intrigued me as I read.
Text to Self: When the girl is being painted and she talks about all the beautiful colors to her skin, coming from her family and how she is
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A little girl heads to Haiti from her home in America to visit her Auntie Luce, a painter. The girl has sat for a painting year after year since she was seven and first visited. She leaves the snow and cold behind for the tropical world of Haiti with its heat, bright buses, pink cathedral and green hills. She asks her aunt why she never left Haiti, and her aunt explains that she wants to stay in Haiti her entire life and that she is simply different than the girl’s mother who moved to America. T ...more
Margarita Rodriguez
For this book, I decided to make a text-to-world connection. Making a text-to-world connection is making a connection between the text and real-world happenings in present time or in history. This book is told in the perspective of a Haiti-American girl who retells her memory of the first time her aunt in Haiti painted a portrait of her. Through this memory she portrays Haiti in a different light, a more positive one that shares its beauty and the struggle. Haiti is often portrayed in media as a ...more
So often, we read and hear about the great poverty in Haiti, which makes this picture book a good addition to a classroom collection since it challenges those assumptions about the country. In this book, a young girl describes how she visits her aunt, Luce, in Haiti during the winter months. Her aunt chose not to leave the island when the girl's parents moved away. Not only is her aunt a painter, but she is eager to share her paintings and her perspective on the country's history with her niece. ...more
Margaret Boling
3/23/2019 ~ Stunning illustrations and an interesting look at Haiti from the perspective of a child whose parents emigrated to the U.S. This is definitely not a book for primary aged children, due to the length of the text and the abstract references to Haiti's history. The story grapples with some of the reasons that people emigrate or choose not to; also, the loss when families are split. I currently have two girls whose parents recently came to the U.S. from Haiti; I look forward to sharing t ...more
I learned that I have a lot more to learn about Haiti. One stunning fact for me from the Author's Note:

"From the moment this Black republic was born, it was totally alone in the world. No country would trade with it or even recognize it as a nation. To get that recognition, Haiti had to sign a deal that guaranteed a future of poverty. It was forced to pay hundreds of millions to the French for the property they lost in war - an amount that today is worth about $20 billion. That lost property in
This book made the USBBY Outstanding International Books List for 2019. It was inspired when the Haitian born author met the famous Haitian artist Luce Turner. Luce Turner painted her portrait. The artwork in this book perfectly matches the story, a story of Aunt Luce's love of her Island home and how it inspired her to paint. It is a story about a little girl getting to know family roots and hearing family accounts of historical events by the people who live there. This would make a great socia ...more
The art is gorgeous and the story has an interesting hook - the birth of Haiti, and the roots of an American girl whose family is still there - but the writing is bland and too descriptive for a young reader to get.
Juliana Lee
A little American girl learns her Haitian history through her Auntie Luce's paintings. Every winter she goes to Haiti to spend time with her aunt who teaches her about her personal family and country's history.
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book has a lot to unpack, but it's worth it - art, history, art history, family, identity, politics, relationships, and more. It's all in there!
It's a bit wordy, but it has a lot of power as far as knowing who you are and where you came from.
Robyn Schultz
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is not just a story about a young girl visiting her Auntie, who is an amazing painter. It's a story about where you come from and how that influences where you are going.

The art by Ken Daley is too die for! A riot of color, and texture and form.
Mary Lee
Sep 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, picture-book, art
A love song to Haiti.
Miss Sarah
Nov 26, 2018 rated it liked it
An elementary level picture book about a young American girl visiting her family in Haiti and learning about the Haitian culture through her aunt's paintings. Pictures are like oil paintings.
Wendy Kuzma
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This a great story for children about Haitian history and culture.
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a beautifully told cultural story of Haiti. And the illustrations are amazing.
Nadia L. Hohn
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Gorgeous illustrations. Amazing story. Rich history. An ode to Haiti.
Joan Marie
A young girl and her auntie share a wonderfully warm story about identity, belonging, family, and art.
Julie Esanu
A love letter to Haiti...
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-book
Saturated paintings reflect a colorful family relationship and some of Haiti's history. The story is heartfelt but there is too much small text on each page.
Solange Guillen
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read2019, childrens
“To paint Haiti takes the darkest colors and the brightest ones, and all the colors in between.”
Alyssa Gudenburr
A beautiful story about a Haitian-American girl who learns about her culture through her aunt's paintings. Shows the hard truths and the beauty of Haiti.
Michelle Gray
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Illustrations in this book are so vibrant and beautiful and I really enjoyed the girl's interactions with her Auntie.
April Connelley
rated it liked it
Feb 23, 2019
Beth Carroll
rated it liked it
May 08, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Feb 15, 2019
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