Monday, June 10, 2019

Review - Thank You, Omu!

Thank You, Omu!
by Oge Mora
Date: 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

In this remarkable author-illustrator debut that's perfect for fans of Last Stop on Market Street and Extra Yarn as well as for the Thanksgiving season, 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.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Thank You, Omu! could easily be read as a companion story with any of the various versions of "Stone Soup" out there. While the plot is a bit different, the message of generosity is similar.

Omu makes herself a big pot of thick red stew for her dinner. But the stuff smells so good that, throughout the day, people arrive on her doorstep wanting to know where that delicious aroma is coming from. She feels she has stew to spare, so she gives everyone a taste. By the end of the day, however, she's been so generous that the pot is empty and there's nothing left for her own dinner! Luckily, all the people she shared with decide to return the favour, and they show up bearing gifts that turn the evening into a friendly community feast.

The collage illustrations give the book a unique, colourful look. (I like how Omu's stew is a floral print!) The pictures are simple, but they--along with the touches of coloured text--complement the story perfectly.

This is a lovely book about generosity and community. Highly recommended to those looking for strong stories with a message about sharing.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 4 out of 5

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