Thank You, Omu!
Thank You, Omu!

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Annotation: 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. Has she left nothing for herself?
Catalog Number: #171669
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-43124-9 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-3235-5
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-43124-8 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-3235-2
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2016029353
Dimensions: 28 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
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.
Horn Book
In the first half of a book echoing Dante's allegorical journey to hell, a magical-realism-threaded narrative alternates between Donovan trying to stay alive and Bee's later attempts to unravel what happened to Donovan, now unconscious and a suspect in his father's murder. The second half shifts--in tone and seemingly in genre--to a thriller. Readers will be engrossed in unraveling the mystery and piecing together events.
Publishers Weekly
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.)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
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)
Word Count: 822
Reading Level: 3.2
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.2 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 199108 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: AD630L
Guided Reading Level: L
Fountas & Pinnell: L

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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