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Going Down Home with Daddy

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  607 ratings  ·  145 reviews
“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
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 1st 2019 by Peachtree Publishing Company
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Average rating 4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  607 ratings  ·  145 reviews

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Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I pick the books I review based on a complicated set of criteria that only makes sense to me. Often it has to do with a number of different factors, one of which is whether or not the children’s book in question relates to my own life at all. As I type this, I am gearing up for a trip to New Orleans. My mother and father-in-law will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary and they would like their children and their children’s families to join them. And, naturally, at the very last minute ...more
La Coccinelle
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, arc, netgalley
Going Down Home with Daddy is a lovely celebration of family and African-American culture. Lil Alan and his family travel south every year for a family reunion on his great-grandmother's land. He and his sister spend time with their cousins. Everyone eats delicious-sounding food. And it's a tradition for the children to offer some kind of gift: a song, a poem, a story. Lil Alan isn't sure what he wants to do, and as the day of the celebration approaches, he worries that he won't have anything to ...more
Going Down Home with Daddy definitely resonated with me especially since I have a lot of family from the South. It reminded of the first time my mom and I came back to South Carolina to live with her family and my great-grandmother. This is such an important story for black children and also an important cultural story. I really enjoyed the artwork. It is super unique and beautiful. This is one that I could definitely see myself reading again.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Lil Alan is excited about going to his family reunion with his parents and sister, but he doesn't know what he wants to share with others during the celebration. He is happy to explore his great-grandma's farm with his cousins and eat with his extended family and go to church and then, finally, to go to the reunion together. When it is time to share, Lil Alan knows just what to say.

This is a book filled with the joy and love that comes from a family, with beautiful illustrations and text.
Ms. B
Dec 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: honor, picture, 2019
3.75 stars, the importance of tradition shines through in this story about a family reunion. This would be a great read alouus for discussions about family traditions and/or reunions. Or as a starting point for encouraging kids to learn about their own family's history.
Lil' Alan and his family set off for the family reunion early one morning. Lil' Alan is both excited and uncertain about the trip. He's excited to see his extended family, but he doesn't have anything to share for the celebration. As Lil' Alan and his family enjoy being with family and spend time remembering the past, Lil' Alan develops a greater appreciation for his currently living family members but also for his ancestors as well as the land. Lyons has told a tale honoring the importance and ...more
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Good story about honoring family heritage made extra special by beautiful illustrations.
Dee Dee G
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this story about family reunions in our culture. The illustrations are stunning.
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Beautiful writing and illustrations tell a radiant family story. Pure love.
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Interest Level: K-3

Have you ever gone to a family reunion? Family is the most important thing and in this book family is important to Lil Alan too! Lil Alan and his family drive to Granny's house to have a good time with Granny, aunts, uncles, and cousins. However, Lil Alan has one big problem - he has nothing for celebration time. His Sis is going to sing Granny's favorite song, one of his cousins is going to read a poem, another cousin made a scrapbook out of Granny's favorite color, but Lil
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
How we define the word family is highly personal. It's as if there is a meaning found in dictionaries and an entirely different one with respect to our lives. For some family does not always consist of those related to us biologically. People whose love and support are unconditional can be thought of as family, whether there is a genetic connection or not.

For others, family is comprised of deep-seated traditions going back generations. The voices of ancestors, their wisdom, still speaks with
Laura Harrison
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am not in love with the text but the illustrations are sooooo beautiful!
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
beautiful book.
Edward Sullivan
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully illustrated, joyful and heartfelt story of a family reunion and celebration of roots and connection.
Lacie Ortiz
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: family, love, tradition
This book tells a story of a family who travels to their grandparents house for a large family reunion. The young boy has nothing to share and finds out he is the only child from his family who has nothing to share. When its his turn to talk at the reunion, he looks around and his father makes a comment that makes the boy think with his heart. With the faith and hope of his father, the boy is able to come up with something to share for his family. It was hard for me to connect with this book ...more
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Lil Alan and his whole family make their way to his great-grandmother's house for reunion weekend. All weekend long, they bask in family history and family dreams, talk and play, eat "love-made" food, and celebrate the joy of being together as a family.

Diverse reads: Lil Alan and his family are African-American.
Lin Lin
The children go to Grandmother's house with their father to join other members of the extended family for reunion to celebrate time-tested traditions. Another good book to be included in my unit on family to increase the representation of African Americans.
Viviane Elbee
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a story showing a family reunion, where each family member says something they appreciate, a poem, story or song. Good discussion for after the story could be how each person’s family reunions are alike and different.
Alice Ball
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Portrait of a mighty family and rich heritage, full of deep, warm connection. The illustrations alone ask for multiple re-reads.
Christie Angleton
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 100-new-in-2020
The illustrations are so rich and gorgeous I want to snuggle into them like a warm blanket.
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’d say this is Caldecott worthy.
Oct 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Love the story but especially love the illustrations. The motifs and patterns throughout plus the watercolor washes and the realistic and majestic figures really make for a gorgeous book.
Cara Byrne
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful, touching book about a family's annual reunion, which celebrates family bonds while meditating upon family history. I can see why this book is garnering attention as a 2020 Caldecott contender, as Minter's use of color, line, and shape compliment Starling Lyons' text wonderfully.
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: African American family or family reunion requests
Recommended to June by:
A celebration of family. A family heads to their annual family reunion, but Alan worries about having nothing to share at the celebration.
Melissa Mcavoy
An African American family make the trip south for a family reunion. The young boy is concerned he won’t have any gift to share with his grandmother and his close observations, while he searches for inspiration, are matched with spectacular illustrations that convey the beauty and meaning attached to the land. A powerful evocation of the strength and pride associated with a families history.
Lovely story and beautiful illustrations about a family going from an urban north city to enjoy a family reunion. The children see and experience where Daddy grew up and participate in music, church, fellowship with family, hearing about ancestors and their ties to the land.
Illustrations are stunning and I loved the chickens, the cotton bolls, and the corn stalk.
Hope to see this title on several awards’ lists for 2019.
Kirsti Call
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Gorgeous illustrations! And beautiful story of kindess.
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful illustrations, beautiful story.
Images and words evoke memories long past, of family gatherings, and when I turned the last page, I felt the love the author conveyed throughout. This book was like a comfy blanket that wrapped itself around me and brought me comfort.
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Kelly Starling Lyons is a children's book author and founding member of The Brown Bookshelf (, a team of authors and illustrators dedicated to raising awareness of black children's book creators. As a kid, she rarely saw stories for young readers thatfeatured characters of color.Her mission is to make surechildren today have a different reality. Herbooks include NEATE: ...more