I'm in Charge of Celebrations
by Byrd Baylor. Illustrated by Peter Parnall. Picture Book. 32 pages. Grades 1-6.
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A desert dweller, asked if she is lonely, explains her love of the desert and the many wonders she sees there. With obvious delight she names and carefully describes events in the desert she has been privileged to witness: Dust Devil Day, a triple rainbow, Green Cloud Day, Coyote Day, Time of the Falling Stars, and New Year Day. She says that you can tell that something is worth a celebration "because your heart will POUND and you'll feel like you're standing on top of a mountain and you'll catch your breath like you were breathing some new kind of air". Although the book celebrates the phenomena of the desert, the point is that nature everywhere is full of wonder and beauty often unnoticed by those of us surrounded by it.
Parnall's illustrations for I'm in Charge of Celebrations use the same sensitives lines as in Baylor's other books (see Everybody Needs a Rock), but the colors here are more vivid and intense than in some of his other work.
Star Mother's Youngest Child by Louise Moeri. Illustrated by Hyman, Trina Schart. (2005, Sandpiper. ISBN 9780618615094. Order Info.) Picture Book. 48 pages. Gr 2-6.
A lonely old woman shouts her loneliness at the Christmas sky on Christmas Eve. In the sky a young star child asks his mother for a chance to celebrate Christmas on earth. When the child shows up at her door, the old woman reacts with selfishness and anger until the child's warmth changes everything.