Friday, January 18, 2019

Review - Going Down Home with Daddy

Going Down Home with Daddy
by Kelly Starling Lyons
illustrated by Daniel Minter
Date: 2019
Publisher: Peachtree Publishing Company
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

Alan worries about showing up empty-handed at his African-American family’s annual reunion.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

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 contribute. But when he looks around him and sees the history of the place, he comes up with a fitting tribute to his family and his history.

This is a little text-heavy for a picture book, so I would probably recommend it to older kids. That said, however, the story is simple enough for younger children to enjoy, too. The illustrations really make this book shine. The stylized drawings are combined with inky overlays to create a really unique look. Even on the pages where everything is done in monochromatic blues, I noticed that the people's irises are still brown, which I thought was a neat touch; everything about the illustrations celebrates the interesting culture and heritage of this African-American family.

Thank you to NetGalley and Peachtree Publishing Company for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.5 out of 5

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