Review of Saturday, by Oge Mora


by Oge Mora

Little, Brown and Company, 2019. 36 pages.
Starred Review
Review written October 29, 2019, from a library book
2019 Sonderbooks Stand-out: #2 in Picture Books

Oge Mora won a Caldecott Honor with her first book, Thank You, Omu! This second book is a delightful story of a girl and her mother trying to have a special Saturday. She knows how to insert just the right amount of repetition and anticipation, and her collage illustrations are fun to look at.

The book begins:

This morning Ava and her mother were all smiles.
It was Saturday!

Because Ava’s mother worked
and Friday,
Saturday was the day they cherished.

We learn their plans for the day – the library for storytime, the salon for a hairdo, the park for a picnic, and the theater for a special one-night-only puppet show.

As they prepare for each event, we’re assured:

The day would be special.
The day would be splendid.
The day was SATURDAY!

But with each item on their agenda, something goes wrong.

The first three times, what happens after they are stymied is similar:

They paused, closed their eyes,
and — whew! — let out a deep breath.

“Don’t worry, Ava,” her mother reassured her.
“Today will be special.
Today will be splendid.
Today is SATURDAY!”

But when they don’t have the tickets for the puppet show, it’s Ava’s turn to be reassuring.

And they come up with a wonderful solution – together – for a beautiful Saturday.

This book reads aloud well, and it’s a modern story with a working, single mother. But the repetition gives it overtones of a folk tale, and it’s got a whole lot of love.

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