Saturday by Oge Mora

Do you ever create grand plans and exciting adventures for your children, only to have things not quite go as planned? I for one know that I get awfully disappointed when that happens, and that my children are usually much better at rolling with the punches than I am. I also feel like this can be a really common experience during the holidays, when we try so hard to make things magical for children. Oge Mora has captured these experiences and emotions perfectly in Saturday, her latest masterpiece.

In Saturday, we meet Ava and her mother, who works full-time 6 days of the week. Because they don’t get much time together any other day, the duo always plans special outings for Saturdays, a day when they know they can always spend time together. Unfortunately, one Saturday, everything that can go wrong goes wrong, and their special day seems doomed… Until Ava reminds her mother that “Today was special. Today was splendid. Saturdays are wonderful… Because I spend them with you.”

Mora won a Caldecott Honor Medal in 2019 for her illustrations in her book Thank You, Omu, and I’d guess she’s in the running for her illustrations here, too! Mora packs her masterful collages with both color and action, but her detail is what really amazes me. You’ll want to read this one a few times, enjoying the story to start, but then go back and take a closer look at the illustrations. Mora has hidden clues along the way to things that might go wrong… I didn’t notice these till the third or fourth time through!

While my girls enjoy this story, I think Saturday resonates even more strongly with adults and serves as a very important reminder of resilience and optimism, embracing family time for what it is, even when it’s imperfect.

Have you ever made grand plans for your students or your children, only to meet seemingly unsurmountable obstacles along the way? Who responded better– you or the children?

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