Going Down Home With Daddy by Kelly Starling Lyons; illustrated by Daniel Minter
Picture Book – Suggested Grades K-3
The well written, engaging expressions in this heart warming story capture the tender feelings between Black family members attending a family reunion. This refreshing book is an excellent choice to read and enjoy together with children.
Suggestions for in-class activities:
Underlying themes surface throughout; noting the progress of families through generations, keeping family history and stories alive, and having children play a role in family gatherings and reunions.
The illustrations are especially contributive to the engaging text. One’s eyes linger on each page admiring the overlapping subtle designs and colors. These could inspire art lessons exploring collage, superimposing shapes, and enhancement using texture.
The story begs further discussion of vocabulary, such as mayhaw jelly and Jim Crow Laws.
Asking students, “How is this family like yours?” is important for appreciating that all families have likenesses to appreciate and value. The story also includes hardships that have been overcome. This is common for families as well.
Comments by Virginia Lopez, retired educator