Family Book Club: Going Down Home with Daddy
Reading level: picture book
Synopsis: Lil Alan and his family are headed down south to his dad's family reunion, where he'll see his great-grandmother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Along with seeing the family home and catching up with everyone, each kid is tasked with finding a special way to pay tribute to the family and the land. Everyone knows what they're going to do—everyone, except Lil Alan. As he spends more time with his siblings, cousins, dad, and Granny, though, he starts to realize just how special this place and their ancestry is. When it comes time for the presentations, Lil Alan knows just what to do.
Categories: family, heritage, nervousness
- For most of the book, Lil Alan is nervous about presenting in front of his family. Have you ever done a presentation? Were you nervous? What made you less nervous?
- One of the ways the family celebrates is by cooking a huge meal to be shared. What are some foods you associate with your family?
- Lil Alan and his family have to travel to see the family home. Do your grandparents live close to you? How about other family members? How does this geography change the way you interact with your family? Is gathering always a big event, or does it feel more like a natural part of your routine?
- If you were going to pay tribute to your family, what would you do? What are some special skills that you could showcase?
- Is there a special skill you'd like to have but don't yet know how to do? What are first steps you could take toward learning that skill?
Activity: Lyons's book is a celebration of family and history—and now it's time for you to do the same! Along with your parents/guardians, collect your art supplies and draw out a family tree. How far back are you able to go?