Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful Books: Celebrating Byrd Baylor

When I think of thankfulness and books, I think of author Byrd Baylor. She writes both fiction and nonfiction. But all of her books are full of truth—resonant truth that bubbles up out of her clear prose. Her books, such as THE WAY TO START A DAY have been around for a while. But read them or re-read them and I think you'll find they hit home. They give thanks, for life and nature, at an elemental level.

THE TABLE WHERE RICH PEOPLE SIT is a perfect book for this economy and this particular November day. THE WAY TO START A DAY is a celebration of life and worth savoring. EVERYBODY NEEDS A ROCK is one of my favorites as a lover of science and rocks. I know the deep, intimate process of finding THAT rock. It is an essential way to connect in a sensory way with Earth.

For educators, Baylor's books are a terrific introduction to nonfiction voice. She is a master of both intimate storytelling and exposition. Her books show the power of unhurried prose. She doesn't throw something in your face and demand you love it. She shares. She calls on touchable, tastable details that bring big concepts to small fingers and hearts.

I call on her publisher to re-issue a Byrd Baylor collection. I'll buy it and tell everyone I meet about it. Her voice, as a nonfiction writer, is something special. I didn't come across Baylor's work until I'd been writing and publishing picture books for quite a while. But when I found them . . . ah. Her books are the kind that make me hug them to my chest and just sigh. After reading, I look around with new eyes. Wherever you are, Byrd, thanks for your work.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

April Pulley Sayre


Mrs. Pilkington said...

I love her books; they all resonate in a wonderful way, especially THE TABLE WHERE RICH PEOPLE SIT. Peter Parnall did lovely illustrations too. Thanks for highlighting her!

Unknown said...

I agree that The Table Where Rich People Sit is a wonderful book. It's a great way to spark a conversation about what is really valuable in life.