Byrd Baylor’s books at the heart of a child-friendly ‘monsoon literacy’ event at the Fox Theater

Bianca Morales

Byrd Baylor fans — children and adults alike — can celebrate the late author’s works of Tucson and the Sonoran Desert at the “Monsoon Literacy Celebration” at the Fox Theater on Sunday.

The free event, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., will feature story time and literary activities for children ages 4 to 10, such as writing poetry inspired by the works of Baylor, as well as EcoKids activity kits and desert-themed stickers provided by Pima County. In addition, they will be able to meet Kit the Fox, the mascot of the Fox, and Boomer the Bear, the mascot of Bear Essential News.

The program will be “a joyful celebration of literacy and our home in the Sonoran Desert in the midst of the glorious monsoon season,” organizers said.

The event will also include a screening of the Oscar-nominated animated short “The Gruffalo”, based on the book by Julia Donaldson. Segments from the film “Desert Dreams: Celebrating Five Seasons in the Sonoran Desert” intertwined with recordings of Baylor reading some of his work, will also be on the big screen at Fox.

Author and environmental activist Baylor died in June 2021. She was an essayist and novelist, but her children’s picture books won her popularity and affection. His written work showcases the Southwest, the vibrancy of the Sonoran Desert, and Native American culture.

Nature is the most important theme in his books, such as “Everyone Needs a Rock”. Baylor received the Caldecott Honors for a trio of books she wrote and illustrated by Peter Parnall, “The Desert is Theirs”, “Hawk, I’m Your Brother” and “The Way to Start a Day”. The event – sponsored by the county’s Clean Air program – was created to honor her and her work.

Bianca Morales is a reporter for cultural expression and community values ​​at, and a member of the Report for America body supported by readers like you.

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