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Kelly Starling Lyons - Going Down Home with Daddy

Kelly Starling Lyons (@kelstarly) shares GOING DOWN HOME WITH DADDY. Kelly is a wonder to me. Her books live in nearly every collection of our school library. Her JADA JONES series is so well-loved, that just mentioning her name in our library had students literally giddy to read her next book. She had not one but two picture books included in our mock Coretta Scott King award last year including GOING DOWN HOME WITH DADDY, a book illustrated by Daniel Minter for which he was awarded a Caldecott honor. Kelly’s newest book is called TIARA’S HAT PARADE, illustrated by Nicole Tadgell, and it centers on a daughter’s love for her mother and the heartfelt way she responds when momma’s millinery business is forced to close. We squeeze a whole lot into this one conversation, so be sure to put in a list of holds requests at your library to check out all of Kelly’s books for yourself.

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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.

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us.

Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us.

In Jacksonville, Florida, two brothers, one of them the principal of a segregated, all-black school, wrote the song "Lift Every Voice and Sing" so his students could sing it for a tribute to Abraham Lincoln's birthday in 1900. From that moment on, the song has provided inspiration and solace for generations of Black families. Mothers and fathers passed it on to their children who sang it to their children and grandchildren. Known as the Black National Anthem, it has been sung during major moments of the Civil Rights Movement and at family gatherings and college graduations.

Inspired by this song's enduring significance, Kelly Starling Lyons and Keith Mallett tell a story about the generations of families who gained hope and strength from the song's inspiring words.

Tiara has a gift for storytelling; her momma has a gift for making hats. When a new store opens that sells cheaper hats, Momma has to set her dreams aside, but Tiara has an idea for helping Momma's dreams come true again.


Rocket Says Clean Up! by Nathan Bryon; illustrated by Dapo Adeola (recommended by Kelly at start of podcast)


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