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Francie Latour (The Children's Book Podcast #488)

February 5, 2019



Francie Latour (@francielatour) is the author of AUNTIE LUCE'S TALKING PAINTINGS, a vibrant and beautiful picture book about a young girl's visit to Haiti to see her Autie Luce and to sit for one of her paintings. The story not only unites family, but it instills a sense of belonging or origin that speaks to the strength of the Haitian people throughout history. Francie reminds us that Haiti is the location of the most successful slave revolt ever, that it's the place where the first Black republic was born, and that America would not be American without the Haitian revolution. 




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.







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 andEssence. 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 in 1992, two years before the artist's death.. Francie and her family live in Boston.


Learn more about Francie at


And purchase one of Francie Latour's books for you, your readers, a friend, or a library HERE.

*This post contains affiliate links. Any purchases made through these links will support the costs of maintaining the podcast, webcomic, and other materials associated with this site. 





Thank you, JENNY SUE, AMY, SARA, KATE, LISA, DARSHANA, MARIANNE, JARRETT, ANITRA, MIKE, LYNN, LINK, CORRINA, CYNTHIA, ELAINE, DOUG, JUDI, AMANDA, RUTH, LARA, TERESA, and others who are coming with me on this journey. You’re welcome to join us. Just visit and pick the support tier that’s right for you. All the hugs and high fives for all of the many, many ways all of out there listening support this show.


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