Learning the Importance of Unselfishness
One of the recipients of the 2019 Caldecott Honor Book awards, Thank You, Omu! written and illustrated by Oge Mora tells the story of giving. Since sharing can be difficult for youngsters, this is a perfect book to illustrate the importance of unselfishness. Furthermore, readers will be entranced by the original artwork. The illustrations are collages of acrylic paint, printed materials and waxed pencils. Thank You, Omu! was Mora’s capstone project while a student at Rhode Island School of Design.
Plotline of Thank you, Omu!
Omu lives on the top floor of a tenement. She has a pot of delicious smelling stew simmering on the stovetop. As the fragrant aroma wafts out the window, Omu sits to read a book. Then a loud knock and a little boy from down the hall appears. Naturally, he asks about the savory smell.
Omu barely hesitates before offering to share the stew meant for her evening meal. This scene is repeated throughout the day as everyone from the mayor to the hot dog vendor stops by drawn by the delectable scent of the stew.
Even the youngest listener will not be surprised by the outcome-no more stew. And then the giver becomes the recipient.
The author/illustrator Mora achieved success with her first picture book. In addition to the Caldecott Honor, she earned awards from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent and Ezra Jack Keats. Her mixed media illustrations garner praise from multiple sources including The New York Times, The Boston Globe and Forbes.
In addition to Mora’s second release, Saturday, the gifted artist has illustrated a number of books including I’m From and Everybody in the Red Brick Building. Click here for her website.
Recommendation for Thank You, Omu!
I loved this story of giving and included it in my gifts of Thanksgiving books for the oldest grandchild. Even though the book is not holiday related, it carries a similar theme of sharing. This world we live in needs more books showing kindness and love. Thank You, Omu! Belongs in every library and is highly recommended.