Parents' Guide to

Going Down Home with Daddy

By Mandie Caroll, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Beautiful book about a very special family reunion.

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The story and illustrations in this beautiful, powerful tribute to family togetherness will enchant young and old alike. Going Down Home with Daddy tells several stories. Author Kelly Starling Lyons describes a family, its history, and the land that has allowed them to thrive. The story also sweeps across history, acknowledging the Native people who cared for the land before Africans were chained and brought to the continent, and the stain of segregationist Jim Crow laws.

Daniel Minter's gorgeous illustrations link this American family to Africa in its details: Patterns in clothing and animals reflect traditional textile designs, Granny's cowry shell earrings call to mind coastal Africa, and stamped on every page in the background are West African adinkra symbols. The farm staples of okra, watermelon, and cotton are drawn in white and overlay sumptuous reds, oranges, and yellows or vibrant greens and soothing blues. The last picture, featuring Granny's dress and her outstretched hand, may stay with readers the longest. Maybe she's feeding her chickens, or maybe she's offering readers her love like they are family, too. Either way, this book is a treasure for any family bookshelf.

Book Details

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