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Thank You, Omu!
Cover of Thank You, Omu!
Thank You, Omu!
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...
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...
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  • 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.

About the Author-

  • 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.

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from July 1, 2018

    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.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from August 15, 2018
    Omu makes a stew so delicious everyone in the neighborhood follows their noses to her door.Omu (which means "queen" in Igbo--Omu is black) is making a "thick red stew in a big fat pot" for her dinner. She tastes it, saying it'll be the most delicious supper she's ever had, while out the window drifts the scent of the "scrumptious" stew until it reaches a little boy. The story is peppered with synonyms for "scrumptious" (itself repeated throughout), allowing readers the chance to discuss and expand vocabulary. When the little boy follows the smell to Omu's door, she kindly offers to share her stew with him. So begins a veritable parade of neighborhood residents who, led by the smell, end up at Omu's door. The collage art adds texture, depth, and distinctiveness to each character. Omu shares her thick red stew with all and receives grateful thanks in reply. Alas, when Omu looks for her own supper, she finds her pot empty. The expressive illustrations convey her despondency as she answers yet another knock at her door to find...that the multiracial neighbors she shared with are back! This time, they have gifts in hand and are ready to make her a wonderful supper, which turns into another shared meal and a dance party.A lovely story of giving and community founded in Nigerian culture. Delectable. (author's note) (Picture book. 4-8)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from August 27, 2018
    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.

  • AudioFile Magazine Narrator LaQuita James brings fresh joy to this engaging story of friendship, sharing, and community. Omu's name means "queen" in the Igbo language of Nigeria. When she makes a stew for dinner, the wafting smell entices neighbors all over the community to knock on her door. Omu shares her stew with every visitor until there is none left for herself. James creates different voices for each visitor, who include a little boy, a police officer, and hot dog vendor. Listeners hear the sadness in Omu's voice when she realizes the stew is gone and the laugh in her voice when all the visitors unexpectedly return to show their gratitude. S.C. � AudioFile 2020, Portland, Maine
  • Booklist

    July 1, 2018
    Preschool-G Omu (Nigerian for queen, but here grandma) enjoys cooking thick red stews for her evening meal. One day, while her pot simmers, a little boy knocks at her door, enticed by the delicious aroma. Of course Omu shares with him and later with others: a police officer, a hot dog vendor, a shop owner, a cab driver, a doctor, an actor, a lawyer, a dancer, a baker, an artist, a singer, an athlete, a bus driver, a construction worker, and the mayor! Predictably, the pot is empty when suppertime arrives, but Omu's friends give back with a feast that everyone enjoys. Mora's mixed-media collage art makes use of patterned papers and book clippings in addition to paints and pastels. She uses simplified forms to represent people and objects (somewhat reminiscent of Ezra Jack Keats' style), well suited to this cozy, urban setting. Particularly effective is the white trail of steam from Omu's stew that travels through the neighborhood. A great choice for food-themed story hours, or for introducing the concept of sharing.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)

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