Omu’s hearty stew has been simmering all day, and she’s not the only one who has noticed its enticing aroma. But after Omu’s kind heart and generous ladle feed several hardworking neighbors and friends, Omu finds herself supperless. Unassuming and simple, Thank You, Omu! by author and illustrator Oge Mora begins with a lesson on compassion and ends with a celebration of community.
Mora’s art is a visually intriguing multimedia feast. Newspaper clippings, pastel art, clothing patterns and maps cheerfully collide in collages that reflect the bustling community of the story. Mora’s characters are bold, diverse and expressive, her cityscapes exciting and fun. Influenced by her Nigerian roots, Mora’s eclectic style is lively and urban but easily translates to different neighborhoods around the world.
While her illustrations are distinct and inviting, Mora, like all good storytellers, uses repetition to create a tale that becomes instantly familiar. Repeated phrases such as “big fat pot” and “thick red stew” help even the youngest readers follow—and delightfully predict—the chain of events. Mora writes with a composed energy that is both kid-friendly and timeless.
Thank You, Omu! isn’t a book that lectures, nor is it a tale of grand gestures. It’s a book about the simplicity of sharing what you have, and that kindness being returned with love. Based on the author’s memories of her grandma, Thank You, Omu! is a fitting tribute to those thoughtful hearts who turn houses into homes and streets into communities.