CHITA'S CHRISTMAS TREE by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard
Kirkus Star


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Howard celebrates the happy events of a Christmas season during the childhood of her cousin, born in 1908, only child of one of Baltimore's first black doctors. As in Howard's earlier picture book (A Train to Lulu's, 1988), the warmth and security of abiding love are the primary force here. On Saturday, Chita (shown at age three in a jacket photo) joins Papa on his rounds, concluding the day with a stop in the forest outside the city to choose a tree. Later, she helps Mama with the holiday baking before the aunts and uncles come for Christmas Eve. Cooper has used oil wash and mixed media for his lovely, richly nostalgic illustrations. In earth tones highlighted with sunset colors, he portrays prewar Baltimore, the beloved child, the well-to-do doctor's comfortable home, and his horse and buggy traversing a snowy countryside, all through a glowing, affectionate haze. Cooper's illustrations for Greenfield's Grandpa's Face (1988) were memorably dramatic; here, in contrast, are the joy and contagious delight of a particular, authentically rendered family holiday.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1989
ISBN: 1416961569
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Bradbury