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  • Celebrate monsoon, reading at Fox Theatre

    Jul 06, 2022 | Read More News
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     Byrd Baylor
    Byrd Baylor died in 2021 at age 97. (Photo by Tom Wiewandt) 
    Monsoon lovers and book buffs are coming together July 10 at Tucson’s Historic Fox Theatre for a Monsoon Literacy Celebration sponsored by the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality’s (PDEQ) Clean Air Program.

    The free, family-friendly event, set for 2-4 p.m., will honor author and environmental activist Byrd Baylor, who died June 16, 2021, at age 97. The Fox Tucson Theatre is located at 17 W. Congress St.

    The Fox Theatre requests that attendees please register using the event website.

    “We’re delighted to honor Byrd Baylor at this heart-warming celebration,” said Skye Siegel, PDEQ community outreach coordinator. Baylor’s children’s books reflect her deep appreciation for the Sonoran Desert and Native American cultures. She received Caldecott Honors for three picture books with artist and collaborator Peter Parnall. 

    Siegel is a big fan: “Byrd continues to inspire children’s literacy enthusiasts around the globe!”

    The event is geared for children ages 4–10 and their families. Some kids will gather for story time featuring Baylor books such as Amigo. Other kids will join in hands-on literacy activities, and meet mascots Kit the Fox (from the Fox Theatre) and Boomer the Bear (from Bear Essential News).

    Later in the afternoon, the lights will go down for “The Gruffalo,” the Academy Award- nominated animated short film based on the beloved children’s book by Julia Donaldson. The event also will feature a screening of segments from the award-winning movie, “Desert Dreams: Celebrating Five Seasons in the Sonoran Desert,” interwoven with recordings of Baylor reading selections of her writings.

    “At the PDEQ booth, families can create Byrd-inspired poems, and get some cool desert stickers,” said Siegel. “And they’ll have a chance to win prizes by taking the Drive-less Pledge for Healthy Air.” Throughout the first half of the event, PDEQ will give away EcoKids Activity Kits that share Baylor’s love of the desert.