A Birthday Basket for Tia
  • Southwest Book Award, Border  Regional Library Association
  • Book Links Salutes "A Few Good  Books" of 1992
  • Utah Governor’s September 2004 Children’s Book-of-the-Month

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Pat's aunt reading to Pat's niece Niki and Pat's daughters Libby and Cissy

Bookjoy! Family reading...Pat's aunt, years ago, reading to Pat's niece Niki (left) and Pat's daughters Libby and Cissy

2017 25th anniversary

A Birthday Basket for Tía
Simon & Schuster, illustrated by Cecily Lang

Una canasta de cumpleaños para Tía

Cecilia has many happy memories of special times with her great-aunt, her Tía, baking cookies, having tea, or playing outside. So what can she give her on this truly special occasion, Tía's ninetieth birthday?

With the help of her cat, Chica, Cecilia ingeniously finds just the right present for Tía. She gathers a basket of memories - a bowl, a teacup, some flowers - each representing an activitiy she shares with her great-aunt. Tía is enchanted by the "birthday basket" as well as her surprise party, and ends up contributing a surprise of her own.

This delightful, cumulative story pays tribute to the touching relationship between a child and an older person. Boldly colored cut-paper illustrations bring out not only the warmth of Cecilia and Tía's love for each other, but also the details of daily life in one Mexican-American family.

Highlighted Reviews
"Cecilia is an irrepresible child; she and her cat gambol through the pages, recalling important moments in this intergenerational relationship … Mora’s simple text exemplifies the best of recent multicultural publishing. An honest, child-centered story."—Horn Book

"Vibrant, detailed cut-paper illustrations portray family warmth and individuality with verve and panache."—School Library Journal

"This warm and joyful story by a Hispanic poet tells of a young girl’s search for the perfect present for her great-aunt’s ninetieth birthday … The final surprise at Tía’s party symbolizes the strong relationship between generations."—Booklist

2012, 20th anniversary
This is my first published picture book. My dear aunt, Ygnacia Delgado, in the photo below, was like a second maternal grandmother to me. I'm the eldest of four, and in our growing-up years in El Paso, Texas, where we and our mom were born, my maternal grandmother whom we called Mamande, and my aunt often lived with us. I loved the odds four children and four devoted adults in one house. What's not to like? Read more show