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Going Down Home with Daddy

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  1,229 ratings  ·  282 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 4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,229 ratings  ·  282 reviews

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Great story and great illustrations!!!
Oct 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: important family ties
A great story about "nothing is more important than family" and family reunions. This was nominated for the Caldecott. I like the story better than the art. The art is certainly inventive and interesting. I do like it, but I feel the story is better.

The artwork looks like she is blending watercolors with other mediums and she swirls the colors into unique shapes. It is fascinating. It is different and so I think it does warrant the nom.

This story took me back to my childhood. Our family did reu
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
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.
La Coccinelle
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, children, arc
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
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. "Nothi
Kellee Moye
Going Down Home with Daddy by Kelly Starling Lyons is a family story. It is a heritage story. It is a home story. A perfect story of going home and reuniting with family, finding a way to tell the story of your family and home, and the love around all involved.
Ms. B
Dec 12, 2019 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Mariah Roze
Jan 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
"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 o
Daniel Minter's illustrations in this picturebook are gorgeous: so dreamy and a little bit nostalgic, with cool patterns throughout and a mesmerizing color palette. What a great fit for Kelly Starling Lyons' story about family, reunions, culture, traditions, heritage!

However, the story is a bit too wordy for my taste and not particularly captivating plot-wise. Still, a really nice reunion tradition, something I wish I had.
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
I watched this book in movie form produced by Dreamscapes. This is the second Dreamscapes movie version of a children's book I have seen. I must try to find more.

As a result of the Great Migration, many families are separated by miles and miles of highway and miltiple state lines. Families still come back South for annual reunion. Love, food, and traditions are shared.

Beautiful Narration. The male narrator performed the women's voices better than other male narrators I have heard. The language c
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pbf-family
Lovely illustrations done in acrylic wash depict a reunion of an extended black family, all gathering together on great-Grandma Granny's and great-Grandpa's (now deceased) cotton farm. There's no conflict here, only everyone having a great time visiting and playing; and one little boy, the MC, trying to figure out what he is going to do for the last evening's celebration time. I thought it was kind of sad that all these relatives only made it out to visit Granny once a year. (Nobody visited at T ...more
Laura Harrison
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am not in love with the text but the illustrations are sooooo beautiful!
Jan 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
I love the text! It really touched me. A beautiful story of heritage and family. I appreciate the way in which Lil Alan searches for and expresses what his family means to him--the encouragement from his family that he doesn't have to do a typical "performance" (song or recitation) during the family celebration, that he doesn't even need a lot of words, he needs simply to share from the heart.
Although this won a Caldecott Honor and I can certainly appreciate the illustrations, I can't say I lov
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 A
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 cla
Amanda Nicholls
May 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I read Going Down Home with Daddy on EPIC. It is a 2020 Caldecott Honor book.
Going Down with Daddy is poetic story of Little Alan and his family visiting their Granny's farm for their traditional family reunion. The farmland was once worked by their slave ancestors.
While Little Alan is excited about the reunion, he is worried about not having something to share for the "celebration."
After spending time on the land, talking with daddy, and thinking about Pa, Little Alan feels inspired and figur
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Lil Alan's family is on their way to an annual reunion at Granny's house. Each child is supposed to share something about their family's heritage at the celebration night, but Lil Alan is finding it hard to come up with something special. But through the excitement of spending time with his cousins and talking with the elders, he manages to come through.

A beautiful celebration of African-American culture and family.
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was looking for a story about family reunions and this one added much more to the concept. This family is going down to the farm where the father grew up to see their grandmother and the rest of the family and come together to celebrate. The family tells stories and share events that have taken place on this farm and their heritage. Colorful pictures and strong story of family connection.
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.
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Good story about honoring family heritage made extra special by beautiful illustrations.
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.
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
beautiful book.
Christie Angleton
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The illustrations are so rich and gorgeous I want to snuggle into them like a warm blanket.
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful writing and illustrations tell a radiant family story. Pure love.
Dee Dee G
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this story about family reunions in our culture. The illustrations are stunning.
Shaye Miller
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: caldecott
There's no surprise that this book was a Caldecott Medal Nominee this past year. Stunning artwork will keep readers searching the page for context clues as the text shares a story of the love of extended family. Reading this book is like being wrapped in a warm blanket -- road trips, hugs from Granny, an amazing dining room spread with so many comfort foods, going to church with family, family quilts, discussing history and ancestors, card games, and a final goodbye that leaves us hungering for ...more
Alexis Cammack
Jan 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Reading this book took me back to my family reunions and woke up all those loving feelings I had. The words were very meaningful and the pictures told a story of their own. The way the author used slang within the words of the story helped make it more relatable. The use of rhyme also made the book more engaging and fun for readers. All of the visuals & illustrations within the book focused the audiences eye. The colors, patterns, and watercolor look were ...more
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Kelly Starling Lyons is an award-winning author whose 17 titles for children span easy readers, picture books, chapter books, fiction, nonfiction, and series. For more than a decade, Lyons has been creating inspiring books that center Black heroes, celebrate family, friendship and heritage and show all children the storyteller they hold inside. Her acclaimed titles include Going Down Home with Dad ...more

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