Hello, friends! Our book today is Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora, a beautiful modern tale of generosity and community.
Omu is delighted; the thick red stew she has been making is absolutely scrumptious, and she predicts that it will make the best dinner she’s ever had. Setting the meal to simmer, she takes a reading break before dinnertime, as the tempting scent of the delicious stew wafts out the window and down the city streets. Suddenly, Omu hears a knock on her door – the little boy from down the hall is curious about the incredible smell. As she has made plenty, she offers him a bowl; he gives his earnest thanks in return. Soon a parade of neighbors is stopping by, drawn by the scent of stew, and Omu kindly offers a portion to each of them. As the last guest leaves, it’s time for dinner – but Omu has given away every last drop of stew. Broken-hearted, she hears one last knock on the door, and finds a wonderful surprise behind it.
Heartwarming. Omu (the Igbo word for “queen”, and inspired by the author’s grandmother) represents a classic figure of selflessness, and Mora’s incredible collage-style illustrations do a wonderful job of filling her warmth, personality, and life. The art shines again and again, in fact: busy city streets are alive with unique characters, emotions play across features, and Omu’s stew looks incredibly tasty. This beautifully frames a pitch-perfect story of generosity, both from the perspective of Omu and of her grateful neighbors who show their thanks in a truly thoughtful way. The writing itself makes it a joy to read aloud, with various callbacks and repetitions that flow perfectly throughout. The length was great, and JJ adored it. This is a special book, with a simple yet evergreen message and art style that can be enjoyed for generations to come – Baby Bookworm approved!