Tag Archives: oge mora

picture books for pairing: me & mama + saturday

I haven’t published a “picture books for pairing post” in so long! Here’s one showcasing two picture books I couldn’t help but envision together in a storytime or stack.

They both are about mothers and daughters. They both are about spending time together and the bond between them being their center. They both are about coping when things don’t go as planned. They both have totally distinct styles but are both utterly beautiful.


Me & Mama by Cozbi A. Cabrera (2020). 

This picture book is full of paintings as evocative as the accompanying words. It is full of moments. Full of details in the text and details in the art like flowers, curtains, wallpaper, the textures of a home. Full of objects and observations the narrator notices about her day, her day spent with her mama—her constant.

It exudes togetherness and love in the simplest things: a morning, an oatmeal breakfast, their rain boots, their toothbrushes, a walk in the rain. And when there is a mishap, a cup breaks, that is perfectly okay because the narrator is with her mama. And the book ends with her knowing that she’s always with her, a soothing, steady balm.



“…I want to be everywhere Mama is.”




Saturday by Oge Mora (2019).

This picture book features vibrantly exuberant pastel collage art, energetic language, and a mother-child relationship that is honest and connected and full of love. It is also about a particular day—Saturday!—that has a very particular and special, splendid routine, a routine that on this Saturday has one big mishap, and then more to follow.

But this story embodies resilience. Because with each mishap, with each potential ruined outing, mother and Ava keep on and bounce back and come up with creative solutions. Why? Because they have each other. And that is the most special, splendid thing there is. It’s all they need.




“Saturday was the day they cherished.”




You may also want to check out the collage card craft I made for Thank You, Omu!, also by Oge Mora.







thank you, omu! + collage card craft

Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora (2018).

This picture book is a celebration of generosity and community with striking, vibrant collage artwork. (And it just received a Caldecott Honor and the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award for those engaging illustrations.)

According to Oge Mora in the afterword, “omu” means “queen” in Nigerian, and it’s what she called her grandma. She remembers: “When my grandmother cooked, she danced and swayed her hips to the radio as she stirred what was often a large pot of stew.” 


Omu in this story is cooking too: a thick red stew for dinner.






The stew smells so good that it attracts visitors. Visitors from all over the neighborhood. Visitors who Omu shares her stew with. First, a little neighbor boy, then a police officer, then a hot dog vendor, and so on.


“KNOCK, KNOCK!” Each one is drawn to Omu’s door by the delicious smell.



“THANK YOU, OMU.” Each one says thank you after eating. 


We as readers know that the stew cannot last forever, and it doesn’t. Omu has nothing left for herself. Instead of being a story in which the stew is magic and grows to meet the need, it indeed runs out. We are left feeling badly that Omu has doled out all her dinner. 

But not to worry. Each visitor from earlier in the day returns, the whole lot of them, with gifts of food and company. Omu’s giving has not gone unreciprocated. In fact, they all have something to give her in return.

This beautiful tribute to Omu’s heart (and her cooking) ends with more giving. Giving back. 


Big thanks to Little, Brown Young Readers for images!




I immediately wanted to do a collage paper craft when I read this book, and so in the spirit of the book and just in time for Valentine’s Day, I thought a thank you card would be perfect. Yours can say whatever you like, of course, but “thank you” or “I love you” seem fitting.



What you’ll need:

Paper of all kinds



Glue stick (or Modge Podge)


Start with a piece of construction paper or cardstock and fold it in half. The front will be the front of the card.

I began with the letters, choosing colors that matched the book cover, drawing them with pencil and then cutting them out. After that, from an assortment of papers, I chose the ones I liked or that corresponded to the book and started drawing shapes, cutting them, arranging them, and gluing them down. Hearts seemed in order for this craft, as did a skyline, a bowl of stew, and a home. Make whatever seems right to you!

Finally, write a note inside and share your card with someone you love, someone who’s been generous to you and who you’d like to give back to.