Review of Saturday

Saturday 

by Oge Mora; illus. by the author 

Preschool, Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp.   

10/19    978-0-316-43127-9    $18.99 

e-book ed.  978-0-316-43126-2    $9.99 

Mora (Thank You, Omu!, rev. 11/18) follows up her Caldecott Honor winner with another story built around family and community connection. On Saturdays, Ava and her mother (who works the rest of the week) spend the whole day together. They go to the library, the beauty shop, the park — and on this particular Saturday they are taking the bus to see a special puppet show. However, a series of misadventures derails their perfectly planned day. Following each disappointment (library storytime is canceled, a puddle-splash ruins their newly styled hair), Mom tries to make the best of things. In an optimistic refrain, she repeats, “Today will be special. Today will be splendid. Today is SATURDAY!” But when even Mom reaches her limit, Ava steps up. Mora’s gorgeous cut-paper and collage illustrations depict a colorful, bustling city. Bits of patterned paper and “old book clippings” underscore the author’s love of storytelling. Sound effects in the text (“ZOOOOM!” “WHOOOSHH!”) add energy and child appeal. This simple, well-crafted tale holds universal lessons for children and adults alike: things do not always go as planned; taking a breath and a moment can help us shift our perspectives when life gets challenging; and setting aside time and spending it with loved ones is special no matter what you do.

From the September/October 2019 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Monique Harris

Monique Harris is a public educator, reading specialist and independent educational consultant. She holds a Master of Science degree in Education from Simmons University. She resides in Boston, Massachusetts.

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