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I'm in Charge of Celebrations


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About the Author

Byrd Baylor lives and writes in Arizona, presenting images of the Southwest and an intense connection between the land and the people. Her prose illustrates vividly the value of simplicity, the natural world, and the balance of life within it.


Gr 1-4 Another collaboration set in the desert from this author/artist team. The styles are consistent: typically twin columns of very short lines of prose set into double-page spreads of intense colors and large white spaces. This is a paean to the forces of nature active in the desert, and a young woman's love of her environment that motivates many private celebrations: Coyote Day, Dust Devil Day, The Time of Falling Stars. The words are personal descriptions of responses to events. The images, however, are much more universal, abstract visualizations. Again the black line helps define horizons, animals, and dust devils (whirlwinds), but it's the sweep of pure color shapes appearing almost stenciled in their sharp-edgedness that will grab children's attention. Parnall can make his audience see empty space as solid form, can juxtapose a red against a pale blue and set the page on fire. But he can also add travel poster cacti that destroy the mysticism of his suggestive abstractions. Still, the partnership thrives in this latest work. Kenneth Marantz, Art Education Department, Ohio State University, Columbus

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