Now that my daughter is reading well on her own, I try to order books through the inter-library loan program that are chapter books. Instead of the shorter mainly picture books. It is hard sometimes as the online library catalog does not list many details about the books, such as length and type of book. I check out various book lists online for challenging readers for her age and pick books that she has not read yet. So that is how we ended up with this book. It was on an accelerated book reading list so I hoped she would enjoy it and be a little challenged by it.
A Birthday Basket for Tia is written by Pat Mora. This children’s book is about a little girl named Cecilia that has a secret. Her Tia (Tia means Aunt in Spanish) is having a birthday! Tia is 90 years old!! She wants to make a special basket full of surprises for her Tia. The book starts out with Cecilia asking Chica (her kitty) what will they give Tia for her birthday today? Then she has a great idea, she asks her mom for a basket that her kitty promptly takes over and decides to nap there. “Not for you, silly cat. This is a birthday basket for Tia,” says Cecilia.
She and her orange striped cat go around looking for things to go in the special basket. Cecilia remembers all of the things her Tia likes to do and all of the things that Tia does with her. The first item that goes in is their favorite book to read together. A mixing bowl is next as they always bake together. She puts in a flower pot too as they grow flowers together. Next goes in a teacup, the one her Tia brings warm tea in when Cecilia is sick. A red ball is placed inside the teacup in the basket since Tia plays ball with her too. Cecilia picks fresh flowers to all go in the basket just like Tia brings in fresh flowers from outside to put in Cecilia’s room! At the end of the book, she surprises Tia with the basket full of surprises. Tia empties the basket one by one and smiles. The cat jumps in the basket when it is empty and everyone laughs. Tia also surprises the little girl by dancing without her cane!
This children’s book is written in the first person. The pictures are colorful, bright, chunky pictures that look like paintings. I loved this book and my daughter enjoyed it as well. She loved turning the page and seeing the stack in the bowl grow as Cecilia stacked each new item into the bowl. This is a great family-oriented warm story. The cat is always getting into things as each page turns and those are the funny parts of the book! A great book that was engaging as to what would be placed into the basket next and why. Why did a red ball need to go in? Oh, because Tia played ball outside with the little girl on warm days. There are a few Spanish words throughout, but not very many. I would absolutely recommend this great book for children!
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