One of the highlights of the children’s book publishing world is the awards ceremony that takes place every year at the American Library Association’s Midwinter meeting. This is where librarians select their top awards, reflected in those shiny medallions you see on some of your favorite books for young readers. These awards include, among others, the Sibert Award, the Printz Award, and—the most well-known—the Coretta Scott King, Newbery, and Caldecott Awards.
This year, we at Peachtree were blown away when we got the early morning call that our beloved Going Down Home with Daddy, illustrated by Daniel Minter and written by Kelly Starling Lyons, was named a 2020 Caldecott Honor Book.
Going Down Home with Daddy is the story of a young boy finding his place in his family and learning how valuable family is to one another. It’s also a joyful celebration of the Black family reunion culture and family history.
This is the first Caldecott Honor for Peachtree as well as for Daniel Minter, and to say we are excited is an understatement. Going Down Home with Daddy also has local and symbolic significance for everyone involved, which adds to the weight of this extraordinary honor.
“Daniel Minter’s own Georgia roots and Kelly Starling Lyons’ beautiful text inspired Daniel’s gorgeous and meaningful artwork,” said Margaret Quinlin, Peachtree president and publisher. “This is a story of family love and of honoring and celebrating our roots, so it seems especially fitting and extra-special to all of us at Peachtree to call it our first Caldecott Honor.”
Minter’s background contributed greatly to the award-winning work he produced, and his and Kelly’s shared experiences added to its meaning.
“I am honored to have worked on this book with Kelly Starling Lyons,” said Minter. “Her deeply personal story resonated with me in such a way that I immediately knew this story was also mine. I am profoundly moved to see my work recognized with this Caldecott Honor. Knowing that people are able to connect with the subtleties in the artwork affirms how interconnected we all are.”
Kelly’s text made several Peaches cry upon reading it for the first time, but when Daniel’s art first arrived at the Peachtree offices back in 2018, we knew that the pairing would ultimately produce something special and lasting.
“When I learned that Daniel won the Caldecott Honor for our book, I was filled with pride,” said Lyons. “His art brought the story to life in such powerful ways. Emotional depth. Layers of meaning. Symbolism. He put his heart into every page.”
Huge congratulations to Daniel Minter as well as Kelly Starling Lyons. We couldn’t think of a more deserving book for this honor. The celebration began here in Atlanta early on Monday morning and shows no end in sight. Cheers!