Going Down Home With Daddy


"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, multigenerational family.--from the publisher

32 pages            978-1561459384              Ages 4-8

Keywords:  family, multigenerational, diversity, diverse books, African American, African American author, culture, traditions, 4 year old, 5 year old, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old, family reunion, home, grandmother, sharing, family history, pride, belonging


There is something really special about being part of a big family and even more special when that family gets together for a family reunion. The whole is made up from the parts. The thing that is family is made from the cousins, the aunts and uncles and the grandparents. They're all knit together and that knitting stretches back through the generations.

This is the story of a big African American family and today they are all getting in their cars somewhere to come together at Grandma's farm. Lil Alan gets up before the sun and listens to his father hum as he packs up the food and the suitcases. There is a wonderful adventure ahead.

At the reunion the kids get together and they talk about what they're going to share when it's that special time. Lil Alan is quiet. He hasn't brought a poem by Langston Hughes. He can't think of anything he has to share.

But as he spends the hours on the land and listens to the history of his family dating back to slavery and on to the year a teacher and a farmer bought this land he's standing on, he slowly begins to understand what the treasure he sees.

This is a glorious celebration of the hard things, the hope, the love and of course, the great food, that are all celebrated when a family comes together for a reunion. A rich, vibrant story illustrated with dignity, respect and the joy of belonging.

Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com

Caldecott Honor 2020

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