Project Description

Going Down Home with Daddy
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Going Down Home with Daddy

by Kelly Starling Lyons
illustrated by Daniel Minter

“On reunion morning, we rise before the sun. Daddy hums as he packs our car with suitcases and a cooler full of snacks. He says there’s nothing like going down home.”

Down home is Granny’s house. Down home is where Lil Alan and his parents and sister will join great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Down home is where Lil Alan will hear stories of the ancestors and visit the land that has meant so much to all of them. And down home is where all of the children will find their special way to pay tribute to family history. All the kids have to decide on what tribute to share, but what will Lil Alan do?

In this rich and moving celebration of history, culture, and ritual, Kelly Starling Lyons’ eloquent text explores the power of family traditions. Stunning illustrations by Coretta Scott King Honor-winner Daniel Minter reveal the motion and connections in a large, multi-generational family.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-938-4
Publication Date: 4/1/2019
Page Count: 32
Size: 9″ x 10-3/4″
Age Range: 4 – 8
Language: English
F&P: P, Gr 3, Genre RF
Lexile: 660L
Themes: Family Reunion, African-American Tradition, African-American History, Celebration, Family History
BISAC 1: JUV013030 JUVENILE FICTION / Family / Multigenerational
BISAC 2: JUV011010 JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / United States / African American


“Imagery is presented in marvelous metaphors… Minter’s acrylic-wash prints soar… A warm, loving, necessary reminder of the power in families coming together.” —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“Minter’s illustrations, rendered in an acrylic wash, work in beautiful harmony with Lyons’s joyful portrait of a deeply loving multigenerational family. Carefully layered images, patterns, and textures reinforce the narrative links between family history, American history, ancestral land and nature, and the bonds of family… Readers will enjoy this moving celebration of familial love, history, and tradition. Highly ­recommended.” —School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

“A lushly illustrated tribute to family history… Lyons’s image-rich prose and Minter’s powerful acrylics…convey a sense of historical struggle alongside cherished tradition while capturing the experience of performance jitters.” —Publishers Weekly

“Lyrical…a heartfelt story of family love, shared history, and connection to a place that binds everyone together.” —Booklist

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“Geez, this is a gorgeous book. You just want to take out the pages and frame each and every one…. A true book of family should make you wish you, like the characters, never had to leave. Of course, by having this book in hand, you never have to…. Family rendered in its most beautiful light. A treasure in hand indeed.”— Betsy Bird, A Fuse #8 Production

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North Carolina Author Awards (AAUW Award for Juvenile Literature) —North Carolina Literary & Historical Association, 2019

Meet the Author

Kelly Starling Lyons

Kelly Starling Lyons is the author numerous books for young readers including One More Dino on the Floor, Hope’s Gift, Ellen’s Broom, and the Jada Jones series. You can visit her website here.

Meet the Illustrator

Daniel Minter

Daniel Minter is a painter and illustrator, whose work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. He is the illustrator of eleven books for children, including Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World about Kindness and Ellen’s Broom, for which he received a Coretta Scott King Illustration Honor Award. You can visit his website here.