Georgia-inspired and Atlanta-published: ‘Going Down Home Daddy’ named 2020 Caldecott Honor Book
“Going Down Home with Daddy” Illustrated by Ellaville, Ga., Native;
Inspired by Events in Colquitt, Ga.
Caldecott Honor is the First for Atlanta-based Peachtree Publishing Company Inc.
The Georgia-inspired Going Down Home with Daddy, illustrated by Ellaville-native Daniel Minter and written by Kelly Starling Lyons, was named a 2020 Caldecott Honor Book today at the American Library Association’s Annual Youth Media Awards in Philadelphia. The Caldecott Medal is given by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the ALA, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. Honor Book citations are also awarded by the selection committee to other notable illustrators and their books.
This is the first Caldecott Honor for Daniel Minter, a native of Ellaville, Ga., and the illustrator of 12 books for children. It is also the first Caldecott Honor for Peachtree Publishing Company Inc., the award-winning children’s book publisher based in Atlanta.
“Going Down Home with Daddy” is the story of a young boy finding his place in his family and learning how valuable family is to one another. It’s also a joyful celebration of the Black family reunion culture and family history, inspired in part by a reunion Lyons attended with her husband at her husband’s grandmother’s home in Colquitt. The artwork was inspired by southern landscapes from Daniel Minter’s youth in Ellaville.
“I am honored to have worked on this book with Kelly Starling Lyons,” said Minter. “Her deeply personal story resonated with me in such a way that I immediately knew this story was also mine. I am profoundly moved to see my work recognized with this Caldecott Honor. Knowing that people are able to connect with the subtleties in the artwork affirms how interconnected we all are.”
“Going Down Home with Daddy” was published to acclaim in April 2019 and has gone on to earn Best Book of 2019 honors from both Kirkus Reviews and School Library Journal in addition to the Caldecott Honor.
“Daniel Minter’s own Georgia roots and Kelly Starling Lyons’ beautiful text inspired Daniel’s gorgeous and meaningful artwork,” said Peachtree President and Publisher Margaret Quinlin. “This is a story of family love and of honoring and celebrating our roots and it seems especially fitting and extra special to all of us at Peachtree to call it our first Caldecott Honor.”
“The Undefeated” (Versify, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), illustrated by Kadir Nelson and written by Kwame Alexander, was awarded the 2020 Randolph Caldecott Medal. Other Caldecott Honors went to “Bear Came Along” (Little, Brown and Company), illustrated by LeUyen Pham and written by Richard T. Morris, and “Double Bass Blues” (Alfred A. Knopf), illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez and written by Andrea J. Loney.