Going Down Home with Daddy

Kelly Starling Lyons, illus. by Daniel Minter. Peachtree, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-56145-938-4
In a lushly illustrated tribute to family history, an African-American boy and his family take their annual trip to his great-grandmother’s farm for a reunion. The pivotal event is a family celebration during which each individual performs. Lil Alan’s cousins have their presentations prepared—one cousin will read a Langston Hughes poem, another will share a scrapbook “in Granny’s favorite color blue.” Alan, though, is stumped: “I kick a stone and my eyes start to burn.” But as he internalizes the energy of the farm, tastes “love-made dishes,” and enjoys family, the words come: “Cotton for the quilts Granny made to keep her children warm... A pecan for the trees Pa planted and all the kids love to climb.” Lyons’s image-rich prose and Minter’s powerful acrylics—rendered in shadowy blues and fiery shades—convey a sense of historical struggle alongside cherished tradition while capturing the experience of performance jitters. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 04/11/2019
Release date: 04/01/2019
Genre: Children's
Compact Disc - 978-1-69055-954-2
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