Books by Cecily Lang

PABLO'S TREE by Pat Mora
by Pat Mora, illustrated by Cecily Lang
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

It's Pablo's birthday, and he's ready for his birthday visit to his grandfather Lito's house, where Lito has decorated a special tree in Pablo's honor. Pablo's tree was planted when his mother adopted him. It was put in a special place—not in the front yard (where it was too noisy), not in the rose garden (where there were too many thorns), but in a quiet spot in the sun. Each year on Pablo's birthday, Lito picks something different with which to decorate it—streamers, colored balloons, paper lanterns, tiny birdcages. This birthday it is festooned with chimes. Pablo and Lito celebrate the day by munching apples and listening to the music the wind makes blowing through Pablo's tree. Pablo looks forward to next year's decoration, which Lito assures him will be yet another surprise. Though this is a charming story about a particularly joyful Mexican-American birthday tradition, the text wanders. Still, Mora's (A Birthday Book for Tia, 1992) depiction of family relations is warm and heartfelt, and Lang's densely colored cutouts capture the mood beautifully. Meandering but moving story. (Fiction/Picture book. 2-6) Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 30, 1992

Great-aunt T°a is 90, and the whole family is getting ready to surprise her on her birthday. While little Cecilia assembles her present, readers glimpse the special times the two have shared: reading, baking, gathering flowers. Cecilia puts mementoes of these past joys into a basket: warm thoughts are the gift, and T°a is suitably touched. Cecilia's lilting narration and occasional use of Spanish combine with Lang's collages to portray a loving Mexican-American household; her sculptured figures in solid colors against spackled, confetti-like backgrounds add to the aura of suppressed festivity. A mischievous cat bumps her way into each picture, lacing the sentiments of this generous tribute to intergenerational love with wit. Cecilia and her family are charming. (Picture book. 2- 6) Read full book review >