Monday, December 12, 2011

Sharing some beloved book titles

Some years ago, while I was on sabbatical in New Mexico and spent wonderful time in bookstores, I found and fell in love with a southwestern storyteller/ author, Byrd Baylor. I confess that, while there, I purchased eight of her books, used them for prayer, to read to others, to teach at various times in our Spirituality Center and finally gave them away because they were too good to keep!

I don’t know how much or often parents and grandparents read to their children, nor even if they give books as gifts anymore in our technologically oriented world, but I’d like to suggest that Byrd Baylor, together with her creative illustrator, Peter Parnall, will delight the hearts of readers as well as their young audiences!

Byrd Baylor is from the land of deserts and timelessness, of Indian communities and the presence of grandfathers in the lives of children. Her stories are full of invitations to quiet reverence, awareness of nature, listening awe, solitude and time, as well as to other cultures. For her, the spirit, not material things, is necessary for personal development.

Knowing that, wouldn’t you like your grandkids and children to grow up with some of these values? Try reading to them one or all of the following titles-- slowly and thoughtfully-- letting them hear your words not only with their ears but in the silence of their hearts. Let them tell you How to Start a New Day or if it’s true for them, too, as it is for Byrd Baylor, that Everybody Needs a Rock and that there is Another Way to Listen to surprising realities. Hawk, I’m Your Brother or Amigo or Your Own Best Secret Place will delight both you and your young listeners.

And finally, you will love Let’s Celebrate. Can YOU find 108 celebrations, “besides the ones that they close school for” as does the little girl in this wonderful book? Give it a try! Google for this outstanding author and her illustrator and catch their exquisite appreciation for the sacredness of all life. You and your child may find more than 108 reasons for celebrating. . .

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