'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 16 January 2020

Review: Thank You, Omu!

An elderly lady, Omu, lives at the top of an apartment block in a busy street. She has made the most delicious stew and is looking forward to dinner. 

While the stew is simmering and Omu reads a book, the smell of the stew wafts and drifts out the door, down the hall, toward the street, and around the block

Soon people around the neighbourhood come knocking at her door asking after that scrumptious smell.

Each time Omu shares a little of her stew, but when it is time for dinner, her big fat pot is empty. 

When once more there is knocking at her door, she sighs and tells the gathered group there is nothing left to share. The most poignant part of the story is here when a little boy hugs Omu and explains what they’ve come to do. The book concludes with a shared feast leaving everyone full in the tummy as well as full of love.

The structure of the story and the repetition of language made it a pleasure to read.

The people who knock at Omu’s door represent a diverse community, which for me made the story all the more valuable. Throughout the book, the reader enjoys a wonderful sense of community, kindness and sharing.

I was immediately attracted to the beauty of this book. The collage work and colours are beautiful, and the seemingly simple textured shapes combine to form sophisticated illustrations.

The Author’s Note explains that in the Igbo language of Nigeria, 'Omu' means queen, while for the author as she was growing up,'Omu' was the word for grandmother.

This is Oge Mora’s debut book which she started as a student project at Design School in the USA. It went on to win the 2019 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, the John Steptoe Award for New Talent and the 2019 Ezra Jack Keats Award Illustrator Award as well as receiving a 2019 Caldecott Honor.

Title: Thank you, Omu!
Author/Illustrator: Oge Mora
Publisher: Little Brown and Company $29.90
Publication Date: 2 October 2018 
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9780316431248
For ages: 4+ 
Type: Picture Book