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Review: Saturday by Oge Mora

By Oge Mora

Little, Brown

ISBN: 9780316431279
Grades PreK-2
Out Oct. 22, 2019

*Best New Book*

Find it at:
Schuler Books | Your Library

Disappointment looms large in the world of the child. Kids, as we know, are YOLO personified. And when pretty much anything is possible at any moment, the opportunities for disappointment are many. But even more difficult than the “Hey mom, can I have my 5th popsicle of the day?” long-shot is the letdown of “Things did not go as planned” disappointment. Saturday, Oge Mora’s magnificent second picture book, addresses this experience with honesty and beauty, but also with much-needed doses of humor and fun.

It’s Saturday and Ava and her mom have plans: storytime, salon, park, and to top it all off, a special puppet show. They zoom out the door to carpe that diem. But storytime is cancelled. And their new salon hair is ruined by a puddle-splashing passing car. The disappointments pile up, culminating in the horrified realization that the puppet show tickets are nowhere to be found. In this moment, Ava chooses to look for the good, and finds it.

The spry text propels the story forward with a nice use of repetition. I can already hear read aloud audiences ZOOM-ing and WHEW-ing along with Ava and her mom as they go about their day.

As first seen in 2019 Caldecott Honor-winning book, Thank You, Omu!, Mora’s bright, cut-paper illustrations are as captivating as picture book art comes. Full of texture and deceptively detailed, they bring life to every page. Saturday contains my favorite spread of 2019:

A book about disappointment that is anything but, Saturday is one of the best picture books of the year. Share it widely.

Review copy from the publisher.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.