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I'm in Charge of Celebrations
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I'm in Charge of Celebrations

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  422 ratings  ·  67 reviews
From the highly acclaimed team of Byrd Baylor and Peter Parnall comes the story of a girl who shares her love for desert life as she tells of treasured experiences like dancing in the wind on Dust Devil Day or sleeping outside on a hot summer night during The Time of the Falling Stars. Baylor's radiant prose-poem and Parnall's exquisite illustrations combine to create a jo ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published October 1st 1995 by Aladdin (first published 1986)
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4.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  422 ratings  ·  67 reviews

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Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: x-tbr-owned
Ok, most libraries, at least here in NW NV, have a copy of this, and I shouldn't need my own. But anyone who reads books like The Happiness Project or The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom should probably start with this. Don't get me wrong; those are both wonderful books that I highly recommend. But this is, well, poetry and art and Joy and Zen and nature all wrapped up in an all-ages picture-book. And I do want my own copy, so I can refer it to readily. Maybe, inspir ...more
Victoria Nicholson
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-classic
I loved this children book. It explains that there is still value in simple lifestyles that are earth centered. You can also see how people learn to find joy living a solitary lifestyle.
Jan 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Sometimes people ask me,
'Aren't you lonely out there
with just desert around you?'"

These are the first lines of the book, and I understand them perfectly. But not until I read this book did I think about turning naturally occurring events, special ones of course, into celebrations.

Oh, how I wish that more people understood the joy that can be found in nature!
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love the way Byrd Baylor writes, and the illustrations are perfect for that writing. A lovely story and we might want to follow the example in the book.
May 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This deceptively simple book by Byrd Baylor (illustrated by Peter Parnall) with a 1986 copyright has a lovely message worthy of remembering: that life is full of moments of wonder worth celebrating! And who gets to decide what to celebrate and when to celebrate; who is in charge? Byrd Baylor's text has this answer:

"I put myself in charge. I choose my own. Last year I gave myself one hundred and eight celebrations -- besides the ones that they close school for. I cannot get by with only a few."
Apr 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
I love her books. Bea does too and I'm thrilled that the ideas of celebrating every moment and everything can be introduced to her so early. It is worth a celebration that I picked up this book to read today after having it on the shelf for a year. Bea was scolding me earlier for having missed the opportunity to celebrate Earth Day and I was trying to excuse myself by claiming that every day is earth day around here (ahem) and this book attacked the problem from another (much more poetic) angle.
Feb 11, 2010 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Julie by: Carol Hurst
Shelves: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, desert-theme
A theme study of the desert offers a chance to pursue the various unique flora and fauna of the dry areas as well as geology and weather. Broadening the theme to a study of the world's deserts allows class exploration of various cultures. We start with a book by Byrd Baylor and, indeed, this whole theme could lead into an author study of Baylor since most of her work is set in the deserts of the American Southwest.

Picture Book for Starters
Byrd Baylor's I'm in Charge of Celebrations (Turtleback,
What a lovely book. The pictures are both detailed and cartoonish at the same time, if that makes sense. :) The premise is that the desert isn't lonely like someone might think. This lady lives there and finds something to celebrate in all of the small little occurrences of daily life. She says that you have to be ready for them and on the lookout and if you are lucky, you will find things to celebrate as she has. The idea is that a calendar of important dates shouldn't determine your holidays. ...more
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I use this in my fourth grade classroom to demonstrate various writing traits
Tiffany Lynn Kramer
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
A beautifuly illustrated work abould enjoying the small things.
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Another amazing book (should I have suspected much less from books suggested by Teachers College Readers Workshop?). This book will have the reader thinking of all the 'celebrations' they could find in their lives. And why not? Why can't a rainbow be a call for a day of celebration? The main character shares days throughout the year that she has deemed celebration days. "You can tell what's worth a celebration because your heart will POUND and you'll feel like you're standing on top of a mountai ...more
Feb 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I encountered this book, I’m in Charge of Celebrations, at the library the other day and fell in love.

I often fall for children’s books because of their similarity to poetry, their distillation of life into pungent bits.

This particular book, the young girl shares her days of celebration. Not regular decreed holidays (New Years is the first day of Spring not the first day of dreary January) but more along the lines of those extraordinary moments that we happen across in our everyday lives. I real
Jun 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I first read this book over 20 years ago when my children were small. It's beautifully illustrated, and Baylor's text is conversational and lyrical. This book inspired me to celebrate a wide variety of things over the years. Only my two oldest children would remember our "waterfall celebrations" when we lived in Moab. We'd occasionally get a heavy thunderstorm and the dry red rock cliffs would become waterfalls! We'd jump into the car to see what waterfalls were happening just outside of town. M ...more
Apr 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kidlit, picture-books
When asked if she's lonely, this character laughs. How can she be lonely when she's alone in the natural world? There's so much to discover and celebrate! She's in charge of creating her own celebrations. We hear of the day she saw a triple rainbow and the week-long celebration of falling stars in August. Every event connects her deeply to her environment, and the surrounding illustrations support that connection. She is pictured as a tiny speck amidst the vast glory of her setting. I love the c ...more
Apr 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
In a way only Byrd Baylor can, we are reminded to enjoy the wonders of nature and daily life. The story of a young girl who finds a way to celebrate the small miracles of her daily life. In a classroom, this book could be used to introduce children to becoming observers of everyday life in search of the nuggets or gems within the seemingly mundane. This book makes me long for home and reminds me of the beauty and majesty of the high desert through Baylor's characteristic illustrations and revere ...more
Beautifully written.
Introduce the concept of writing as a form of artistic expression.
Explore the beauty of the world around you! If you were to make up your own celebration, what would it be? Have the class brainstorm ideas for what they would celebrate. Make a class calendar of celebrations throughout the year and add to it as you go. Honor traditions and celebrations from all cultures in your classroom and community.
This book is great! It is longer, but it really has a great feel to it. Teaches to celebrate the small things in life and take pleasure in what you've got. I think this would be a great book to use broken up like a classmate recommended. Maybe read it over the course of a week near the beginning of the school year and have students find things to celebrate over the course of the year. :) It would be cute to send them all home with a 'celebration' calendar of all the things they loved.
Carol Royce Owen
Mar 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books to read aloud, my first introduction to the books of Byrd Baylor and Peter Parnall. There is so much beauty in the description of each of the holidays that the girl/boy in this story chooses to celebrate, each day is described in rich detail that you can close your eyes and see the wonder that deemed the day a special day. Wonderful!
Etta Mcquade
May 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Although the desert isn't a part of my childhood membories, I long for those summers of my young years in the state of Washington, where, by myself, I wandered the woods, climbed the trees, and waded the creek on our pristine 35 acres. Camping at 77 does almost the same thing for me now, only I don't go camping enough.
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm in charge of celebrations by byrd baylor Wondering why people think that his/her lonely experience in the desert is a sad thing. He/she is in charge of the celebrations. Over a hundred of them have been added to the calendar. Looking at the importance of the little things. This book looks at different ways of seeing the world. It's art work is interesting and evocative. great book for kids.
Emily Pinnick
This is an excellent book. In this book, a girl sees the beauty in the little things and decides to celebrate them. Every day she celebrates the beauty of the world around her. This book is a great one to read to children to get them to slow down and see the beauty of all things around them and to celebrate those things.
Mar 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I didn't know anything about Byrd Baylor, but people keep special ordering her from us, so I was like "I gotta check this out." So tonight I happened to find this book inside one of my tutoring students textbooks. It's GORGEOUS--both text and illustrations. Lovely.
I loved the title and grabbed it on the way out of the library. I will buy this children's book for my own library. I loved it! If you have children you should at least check it out and I bet you'll buy it too.
Sep 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
A wonderfully illustrated book with long columns of descriptive storytelling. The shared bond between human and nature is beautifully depicted. For ages ten plus, or the exceptionally well read nine year old because I can see the long passages as tiring for a child to read.
Mar 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, poetry
Baylor and Parnell have teamed up before (and garnered some Caldecott Honors), and they work well together. Written in free verse, this book is a girl's celebration of life in various forms (to prove she's not lonely). Illustrations help capture a Native American view of the dessert.
Katie Shaw
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is one of the longer picture-books, but great nonetheless! Great to use when teaching students about noticing and celebrating the little things in life. It would also be great to use to introduce journaling to students.
A wonderful book to read during the first week of school. Discuss with the students that celebrations can be anything from losing a tooth to having a grandparent visit. Make our own class book of celebrations and add to it throughout the year. Grades K through 5th.
Olivia Jackson
Apr 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
This is a cut story for teaching students that everyday should be a celebration, but it is just so lengthy. About half way through it I felt myself thinking "okay, we get it", this probably isn't a book I would use in a read aloud.
Baylor is a wonderful artist of images and words. This book for the intermediate grades and tweens beautifully tells a story about a child finding special meaning in her own experiences. An empowering tale.

Jul 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I last read Byrd Baylor's books a few years ago, but they make an impression that you don't forget. This one creates a list of celebrations that are more meaningful than traditional holidays that may have lost their meaning to many people.
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Byrd Baylor has always lived in the Southwest, mainly in Southern Arizona near the Mexican border. She is at home with the southwestern desert cliffs and mesas, rocks and open skies. She is comforted by desert storms. The Tohono O’odham people, previously known as the Papagos, are her neighbors and close friends. She has focused many of her writings on the region’s landscape, peoples, and values. ...more