Thank You, Omu!

by Oge Mora (Author)

Thank You, Omu!
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

A 2019 Caldecott Honor Book

Winner of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award

In this remarkable author-illustrator debut that's perfect for fans of Last Stop on Market Street and Extra Yarn, a generous woman is rewarded by her community.

Everyone in the neighborhood dreams of a taste of Omu's delicious stew! One by one, they follow their noses toward the scrumptious scent. And one by one, Omu offers a portion of her meal. Soon the pot is empty. Has she been so generous that she has nothing left for herself?

Debut author-illustrator Oge Mora brings to life a heartwarming story of sharing and community in colorful cut-paper designs as luscious as Omu's stew, with an extra serving of love. An author's note explains that "Omu" (pronounced AH-moo) means "queen" in the Igbo language of her parents, but growing up, she used it to mean "Grandma." This book was inspired by the strong female role models in Oge Mora's life.

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School Library Journal

Starred Review

PreS-Gr 2—In her apartment on the top floor, Omu (Igbo for queen) makes a tasty, thick red stew for her dinner. The smell wafts through her community, enticing neighbors to knock at her door to inquire about the delicious smell. A little boy is first, followed by a police officer, the hot dog vendor, and many other neighbors. Omu shares a bit of her stew with each person until she has none left for her dinner. When she hears the next knock, it is the visitors again, but this time with a feast to share with Omu. Even the little boy makes a contribution: a red envelope that conveys everyone's sincere gratitude. The richly textured and expressive collage illustrations were created with patterned paper and old-book clippings using acrylic paint, pastels, and markers. Mora has crafted a memorable tale of community and the unexpected rewards of sharing. VERDICT Children will enjoy this fresh, engaging story of friendship and community building, perfect for any group gathering. —Maria B. Salvadore, formerly at District of Columbia Public Library

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

Omu (pronounced AH-moo, it's Igbo for queen), the matriarch of her city neighborhood, is making "thick red stew in a big fat pot." As the delicious scent--rendered as an undulating strip of paper--wafts through the neighborhood, a little boy drops by, then "Ms. Police Officer," and then a deluge of hungry humans that eventually includes the mayor. Mora, a major new talent making her debut as an author-illustrator, gives her book a rhythmic, refrainlike structure: There's a "KNOCK!" at the door, a moment of thought on Omu's part, the presentation of a bowl, and a hearty "Thank you, Omu!" in brightly colored capital letters. Dinnertime arrives, and a chagrined Omu discovers that she's given all her stew away ("There goes the best dinner I ever had!"). But she isn't sad for long. The stew eaters arrive en masse at her door with a bountiful potluck (the boy proffers a handmade thank-you note), and "together they ate, danced, and celebrated." This sweet story of inclusivity, gratitude, and delicious fellowship is also a feast for the eyes, with its warm colors and inventive mélange of cut paper and other materials. Ages 4-8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Oct.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes




Such a great way celebrate community and gratitude.

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Oge Mora
Oge Mora graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in illustration. When not painting in her studio, Oge is in the kitchen cooking her late grandmother's recipes. Her first picture book, Thank You, Omu!, was a Caldecott Honor, a New York Times Notable Book and Editors' Choice, and a Junior Library Guild selection. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island, and invites you to visit her website at www.ogemora.com.
Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9780316431248
Lexile Measure
630
Guided Reading Level
-
Publisher
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date
October 02, 2018
Series
-
BISAC categories
JUV013030 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | Multigenerational
JUV011010 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States - African-American
JUV039220 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Values & Virtues
JUV050000 - Juvenile Fiction | Cooking & Food
Library of Congress categories
Grandmothers
Neighborliness
Generosity
Stews
Caldecott Medal
Honor Book 2019 - 2019
John Steptoe New Talent Award
Winner 2019 - 2019

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