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Reviewed by Donna Gielow McFarland for Readers' Favorite
The English/Creole bilingual picture book, 1803 - The Haitian Flag / Drapo Ayisyen by Berwick Augustin, tells the story of the Haitian flag through the eyes of parents explaining the flag to their children, Pouchon and Natacha. The children are celebrating Flag Day at school, but they don’t understand the significance of their flag. Their parents describe the history of their people – how they came from Africa as slaves and how the Haitians were the first group of blacks in the world to put an end to slavery. They describe slavery in a manner that is comprehensible to a child. The parents then describe the parts of the flag and the symbolism of the colors, the coat of arms and the motto. The book concludes by talking a little about the Haitian culture today.
1803 - The Haitian Flag is beautifully illustrated with brightly colored pictures on every page. The pictures are in several different styles. Some are simple cartoons while others are highly detailed. I thought the illustrations were definitely the most appealing aspect of the book and children will love looking at them. The story is well done as it communicates historical facts within a fictional story. As would be expected of children today, Pouchon and Natacha are unfamiliar with slavery and so Berwick Augustin explains it in a way that they and the children hearing the story can understand. I recommend 1803 - The Haitian Flag to parents and teachers everywhere to teach children about Haitian culture, and to parents and teachers in Haiti to teach children about their own history.