The timely grace of Oge Mora’s “Saturday”

By Cornelia Beckett, Program Specialist

My favorite children’s book of the past year, Oge Mora’s gorgeously collaged Saturday, has proved to be more timely than ever. The plot is simple and realistic to many working families’ lives: Ava’s mom works all week except for Saturday, so that day is their special time together. They go to the library for story time, get their hair done, go to the park, and maybe go somewhere extra-special like a puppet show.

Except— this Saturday, story time is canceled, a splash from a passing bus ruins their hair, the park is too noisy, and they forget the tickets to the puppet show. At home, Ava’s mother “wails” that she’s ruined their special day. Ava reassures her mother: “Saturday is special because I spend it with you.” The final pages of the book are of Ava and her mother creatively making their own puppets and putting on a show with what they have at home.

With everything canceled, with families inside together, and with a need to reframe unexpected circumstances—Ava and her mom even pause together to take a deep breath every time they face a setback—Saturday models healthy coping strategies, adaptation and the priceless meaning of family time.

Here’s a video of the author and illustrator reading it herself:

Mora’s Thank You, Omu! is also available to check out. Download the Read-Along version here.