Byrd Baylor lives and writes in Arizona, presenting images of the Southwest and an intense connection between the land and the people. Her prose illustrates vividly the value of simplicity, the natural world, and the balance of life within it.
Desert Voicesby Byrd Baylor, Peter Parnall
Ten desert creatures speak for themselves, and as they tell what it's like to be a jackrabbit, a tortoise, a buzzard, or a rattlesnake, they make it clear that the desert is their home, the only home they'd ever want.
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We took turns driving and reading this book aloud to our daughters (ages 7 years and 18 months) during a road trip through Death Valley. Our oldest asked to hear it over and over, and even our little one listened and seemed to enjoy the movement of the poems. For once, we never got tired of reading the same book to them again and again to the contrary, we often suggested another read and played games with the lines--one person read a short excerpt and the listeners guessed whose 'voice' they were hearing. Minutes and miles slipped away while we discussed our favourite lines and poems. The beauty of the words and ideas was enhanced by the backdrop of the desert beyond the car windows, but even now, back at home, it remains popular with all of us. Anyone who enjoys good poetry should appreciate this book, and it would be a good next step to move children beyond rhyme as the unifying force in poetry.
I thought that Desert Voices was so descriptive. It felt like I was in the desert with all the animals. I really liked the poem about the Pack Rat when it said,'It holds me safe, hiding my secrets in the dust'.