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In this warm and tender story by the Caldecott Honor-winning creator of Thank You, Omu!, join a mother and daughter on an up-and-down journey that reminds them of what’s best about Saturdays: precious time together.

Today would be special. Today would be splendid. It was Saturday! But sometimes, the best plans don’t work out exactly the way you expect….

In this heartfelt and universal story, a mother and daughter look forward to their special Saturday routine together every single week. But this Saturday, one thing after another goes wrong–ruining storytime, salon time, picnic time, and the puppet show they’d been looking forward to going to all week. Mom is nearing a meltdown…until her loving daughter reminds her that being together is the most important thing of all.

Author-artist Oge Mora’s highly anticipated follow up to Caldecott Honor Thank You, Omu! features the same magnificently radiant artwork and celebration of sharing so beloved in her debut picture book.

40 pages, Hardcover

First published October 22, 2019

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Oge Mora

9 books91 followers

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5 stars
1,523 (61%)
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744 (29%)
3 stars
198 (7%)
2 stars
28 (1%)
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3 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 481 reviews
Profile Image for Diana | Book of Secrets.
766 reviews556 followers
April 30, 2022
This book hit me in the feels! I can sympathize with the mama, feeling the burden of wanting things to go perfectly for her child, but of course that doesn't always happen. I love how she taught her daughter how to deal with stressful/disappointing situations. Sweet ending, and gorgeous illustrations! ♥
Profile Image for RJ.
Author 6 books59 followers
April 5, 2020
Deep breathing! Mindfulness for storytime!

EDIT: I've been thinking about this book a lot while sheltering in place. It's about disruption of routine, mindfulness & self-soothing through frustration & disappointment, and making your own fun at home when all of your plans fall apart. It will be the first book I read at storytime when I get back to the library.
Profile Image for Mid-Continent Public Library.
573 reviews171 followers
June 15, 2021
Saturday is a special day for Ava and her mother. They have a routine that both love and sometimes an extra surprise like a puppet show. What will they do when a Saturday is less than smooth -- some might consider it a disaster. Can they recover that special Saturday feeling from being together? Oge Mora's signature, collage style shines in this 2021 Building Block Nominee. Mora uses acrylic paint, china markers, patterned paper, and old-book clippings to invite readers into Ava's Saturday with her mother. Spectacular! *Review by Darla from Red Bridge*
Profile Image for Racheal.
1,013 reviews82 followers
December 5, 2019
I loved Thank You, Omu, last year (well deserved Caldecott honor) and now that Oge Mora has duplicated the same magic here I think it's officially safe to say that she's one of my favorite picture book authors :)
Profile Image for Erika.
104 reviews
August 15, 2019
If you loved Oge Mora's THANK YOU, OMU!, you'll love SATURDAY. Mora returns with her brilliant illustrations and heartfelt story. In SATURDAY, Ava and her mom anticipate their special weekly time together, but as often is the case for many of us, life happens. A special thank you to Oge for reminding us the simplest things are the most important.
Profile Image for Cecelia.
397 reviews211 followers
September 18, 2019
In case you weren’t reading my blog last winter, I am in love with Oge Mora’s art! I bought… oh, 5 or so? copies of her debut picture book Thank You, Omu! and gave them to the small children in my life. It was that. good. So when I saw that Mora was doing a signing at ALA, I bought a copy of her new book, Saturday, without hesitation. And friends? It is delightful. Gorgeous, intricate illustrations paired with a lovely story make for another future classic. Saturday is outstanding.

In Oge Mora’s second picture book, Ava and her mother look forward to Saturday each week, because Ava’s mother has to work the other days (Sunday-Friday). Saturdays have a special routine, and a treat at the end – but this Saturday doesn’t go as planned! Each time something doesn’t turn out, mother and daughter take a deep breath and move on, determined that the day will still be special. On the surface, Saturday is a story of family togetherness, but it also includes lessons on continuing through life with a positive attitude instead of getting frustrated in the face of obstacles, valuing people over things, and making your own fun no matter what happens.

One of the things I loved about Mora’s debut was that although the story had the look and feel of a classic, it also contained the touchstones and details that set it in a particular cultural community and neighborhood (African-American, immigrant). Mora’s Saturday does the same, but even more so. While any parent and child with too little quality time together will identify with the story, it will be especially poignant for working mothers, single parents, and African-American families (the salon scenes!). That doesn’t mean it won’t be a classic (it will)! The themes in Saturday are universal, and the story is told so charmingly that I can see this book being requested over and over again for storytime, bedtime, and any time.

But let’s get to the Art, with a capital “A” intended – the true highlight of a Mora picture book (and yes, I feel comfortable saying that after only two books!). Mora works in a bright palette, using paint markers, patterned paper, and old book clippings. The layering of cut paper pieces adds texture and dimension to each scene, and the vivid patterns and colors are a feast for the eyes. Mora is also excellent at imbuing her spreads with motion – choosing to portray things that are happening “mid-shot,” and including rounds of changing character looks on a single page. I also love the inclusion of hand-cut letters that distinguish the text and add excitement (“zoom” and “Saturday” are the two most frequently singled out words).

Listen, it’s just a beautiful book, through and through. Mora is a fantastic artist and a good storyteller, and she has a crew at her publisher (Little, Brown) who compliment her art with gorgeous design. I want to keep this book to myself forever, but I suppose I’ll share it with some lucky little in my life!

Recommended for: fans of vibrant, diverse picture books in the vein of The Last Stop on Market Street and The Snowy Day, and any and all readers ages 4 and up.
Profile Image for Ms. B.
2,796 reviews35 followers
November 15, 2019
4.5 stars. Saturdays are the day that Ava and her mother cherish because they get to spend the day together doing their favorite things. What happens one Saturday when nothing goes as planned? If you're looking for a story about positive attitude, this one is for you.
Profile Image for Christina.
28 reviews
October 8, 2021

I knew I wanted to read "Saturday" by Oge Mora when I saw it on the shelves at Barnes and Noble because I love the author. I remember reading "Thank You, Omu!" a few years ago and it felt so powerful to me and it was such a beautiful story with beautiful illustrations, and I wanted to explore the author's other works. "Saturday" is written and illustrated by Oge Mora. It is a Caldecott Honor Award book and is recommended for children ages 4-8 years old. The protagonist of the story is a young girl named Ava, who appears to be about 6 or 7, though it is not explicitly stated in the story. Ava and her mother look forward to spending Saturdays together. Saturdays are their special days and they have extra special plans on this specific Saturday. But things don't go exactly the way they planned on this Saturday. Though they have to make the best of the situation, it helps them realize what the best part of Saturdays really is. This was such a good story, although it made me a little sad. Ava and her mom’s plans keep getting ruined and I just wanted one thing to work out for them at the end of the story, but it never happens. I feel like it would be helpful in teaching students SEL skills, specifically coping skills for when things don't go their way or their plans get changed. Ava and her mother experience feelings of frustration and sadness when their plans don't work out, but there are some coping strategies that they use that children may find helpful, such as closing their eyes, and "letting out a deep breath". Even though their plans get changed, they learn what is most important/special about their Saturdays together.

This book has the same kinds of illustrations as the author's other book I mentioned above. The pictures are beautiful and look as if the author put flat scraps together to make the pictures. For example, on the first two pages of the book, Ava and her mom are eating breakfast. The items on the table almost look as if they have been cut out of a magazine/newspaper and pasted on the page because they are flat looking. The pictures align with the words in the story. You can see the happiness and enjoyment on Ava's face when her and her mom go to the salon on page 3. You can see how much fun they are anticipating and how excited Ava and her mom are for their Saturday adventures to come on page 7.

Immediately, I thought about how beneficial this book would be for learning about punctuation. There are a lot of different punctuation marks present in the story and they are used for different purposes. The story has ellipses, commas, periods, and a lot of exclamation marks. For example, Ava and her mother are excited and can't wait to go to the puppet show, and exclamation marks are used a lot when expressing their excitement. Exclamation marks are also used when they are saying "Oh no!" and at the end when the mom is so frustrated, she is angry that the day was ruined. Again, I also think it would be a good book to review story elements such as problems and solutions, as well as social-emotional skills and how to cope when things don't go your way or plans don't work out. In this book, there was not a lot of descriptive language, but it seemed to work out better this way. I liked that the language was simple, easy to follow, and somewhat repetitive on certain pages. It makes it easier for children to comprehend what is happening in the story and help them follow along more easily. I do think this book could be used for vocabulary instruction because there are a lot of strong vocabulary words children could learn from this book, such as "splendid, cherished, lounged, wailed, and reassured". This would be a good book to work on tier 2 vocabulary words with children and expose them to stronger/different words for many of the words they use all the time. For example, instead of saying "loved" or "liked", they could be exposed to and use the word "cherished".

As for the diversity of the book I like that the main characters are people of color and many of the minor characters throughout are diverse and feature other people of color, but the culture or race of the characters does not really contribute to or take away from the story. If Ava and her mom were White instead, the story would still be the same if none of the other situations changed. They could still cherish Saturdays. They could still go to the salon and picnic at the park and go see a puppet show. The race of the characters is not really mentioned or a focal point of the story. It is a nice story to expose to children though so they can see that even though children and their families may be a different race or background than them, they do a lot of the same things that they do and they have the same feelings about spending time with their families.
Profile Image for Kirstin.
7 reviews
October 9, 2021
Author and illustrator Oge Mora's "Saturday" is wonderful classroom read-aloud for Pre-K-2nd grade with so many curricular connections; families, emotions, mindfulness, calendar & days-of-the week, community helpers, and features of print, just to name a few.

Young Ava and her mother love Saturdays--their special day to go to the places they enjoy visiting, like the library and the beauty salon. But this Saturday isn't turning out how they planned: Not one bit! How will Ava and her Mom deal with their disappointments? What's really the most important thing about Saturdays for this small family?

Caldecott Honor-winning creator of "Thank You, Omu!" in 2018, Oge Mora's collage illustrations and use of print in "Saturday" shows great attention to the details that make Ava's urban community buzz with action and noise!

This book is a welcome addition to the classroom library seeking more protagonists from single-parent headed households, more protagonists of color, and more female authors of color. Mora's "Saturday" made many best-of lists in 2019 including, Kirkus Reviews Best Children's books, and remarked, "How wonderful: a book with both racial diversity and class diversity that feels authentic. Special and splendid." (https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-re...)
Profile Image for Kris Dersch.
2,324 reviews14 followers
September 14, 2020
This was just lovely from start to finish. I adore this illustrator. Ava's mom works six days a week (my kid asked me why she has to work so much and I told him this is the reality for a LOT of families) so Saturday is the day they have to spend together and they have all kinds of plans. But when the plans fall through is it what they do or who they do it with that counts? I love the relatable mom who has her own disappointments...this is not the mom protecting kid from the world narrative but mom and kid as team and it was just beautiful.
Profile Image for Melki.
5,577 reviews2,309 followers
March 5, 2022
Saturday is the only day Ava and her mother get to spend together, and they have special plans to celebrate the day . . . but, things start to go wrong early on, and don't get any better as the day goes on. Can their day out together be salvaged?

A fun story, with colorful collage illustrations by the author.


This is Pennsylvania's One Book, Every Young Child selection for 2022.
Profile Image for Miriam.
50 reviews
September 24, 2022
as a black girl who had the busiest mom growing up and looked forward to spending Saturdays and special outings with her mom, this made me a little teary in the best way :') Super insightful on how to deal with conflicts outside of your control as a mom, and a child. I loved the illustrations and even more, how the emotions translated through them.
Profile Image for Nood.
51 reviews13 followers
October 20, 2022
It is a good choice to start the weekend with this story
Profile Image for Leslie.
1,113 reviews
August 29, 2020
When things don’t turn out as planned, you try to make the best of them! Ava and her mom do just that.
Starting out the 2020 school year with this one to help us connect with the fact that things don't always work out they way we hoped, but we can turn it around to the positive! :)
Profile Image for Destinee.
1,562 reviews142 followers
December 17, 2019
As a mom who works fulltime, this book tugged my heartstrings hard. The mother and daughter depicted in this story cherish their time together on Saturdays, even when the day is kind of a disaster. It's a simple story with a familiar theme, but it still feels exceptional. The illustrations somehow radiate joy in the bond between parent and child. The story is told with an excellent refrain: they take a deep breath and let it out like "whoosh" when something bad happens. I use Thank You, Omu! a lot in story time, and this has the same qualities that make that book so successful.
Profile Image for Dawn.
334 reviews56 followers
November 16, 2020
Great book that celebrates children spending time with a parent. The focus on having a good time even when things aren’t perfect is a great lessons for children and parents alike. My only issue was that the audio version didn’t allow the reader to complete the story due to not explaining what happened at the end (I’m sure it’s in print format, but I was disappointed that it ended without my being able to tell how they salvaged the day). Great book for children!
Profile Image for Shaye Miller.
1,236 reviews80 followers
April 30, 2020
Ava and her mother have all sorts of wonderful plans for their Saturday. It’s the best day of the week because mother doesn’t go to work. Yet things don’t always go as planned, and this is certainly the case on this particular Saturday. Storytime at the library is canceled, their hairdos are ruined by a car splash, the park is too loud, and they miss the puppet theatre they were so excited to attend. Ultimately, they’re faced with the understanding that Saturdays are special primarily because they get to spend them together. I love the message in this one and I adore Mora’s collaged illustrations! The back matter shares that the collages for this book were created with acrylic paint, china markers, patterned paper, and old-book clippings.

For more children's literature, middle grade literature, and YA literature reviews, feel free to visit my personal blog at The Miller Memo!
Profile Image for Cecilia Ayard.
23 reviews1 follower
January 24, 2022
"Saturday" shares the routine of Ava and her mother on the only day they get to spend together, Saturday. Ava's mom works all week except on Saturdays, and they share that day by going to the library, getting their hair done, going to the park, and this Saturday, they were going to attend a puppet show. Although they had a routine, things did not go as planned as everything went wrong. Everything that they would usually do got ruined in one way or another. Just when Ava's mom thought their Saturday was ruined, Ava said their day was special and splendid. Ava cherishes the time she spends with her mother, regardless of how they spend their time. "Saturdays" shows the importance of children spending time together with their parents. The book also shows how valuable time is. Parents may not realize that sometimes the smallest things mean the most to their children. I enjoyed reading this book and realized how important parents are.
Profile Image for Amy Layton.
1,641 reviews48 followers
March 8, 2020
ADORABLE.  This book.  Is everything.  It's like, the updated version of McKissack's Ma Dear's Aprons in which there's only one day a week for mother and child to really spend time together without the interference of work.  With a collage-esque illustration style, Mora shows that Saturdays are as much of a construction as we can make them, that even when the pieces don't seem to go together, it can still be beautiful and fun!  And the story, UGH, the story!  When their Saturday doesn't go correctly, they still manage to have a good time because they've spent time together.  SOB.  This book is just so sweet--it's no wonder that it's been so incredibly popular, and that it's made such a splash in the children's literature world!

Review cross-listed here!
Profile Image for Connie T..
949 reviews4 followers
January 24, 2020
What child doesn't know the disappointment of highly anticipated, carefully made plans going awry? Saturdays are special for Ava because that is the day she gets to spend with her mom. They have a schedule of fun things they usually do and this week will be even better because they have tickets for a one-time-only puppet show. Nothing goes according to plan, yet the two have a splendid day anyway.

I love how they "paused, closed their eyes, and - whew! - let out a deep breath." If only more children could learn to calm themselves in this way. The artwork is expressive, showing a range of emotions, but no matter what happens, the love Ava and her mother share always shines through.
25 reviews1 follower
January 19, 2022
This book reminded me so much of me and my mom! It's just been me and my mom basically since I was born and I always cherished the time we spend together even if it doesn't go as planned. Now that I have a job and I'm in school, we sometimes don't spend as much time together on the weekends like we use to, but we will ALWAYS find a way to spend time with one another. Whether we go out to get our nails done or just stay in and watch our favorite shows. I really liked this book because it shows a hard working mom and her daughter finding ways to spend time with one another even if it doesn't go as planned. This book shows that spending time with the ones you love is most important and you should enjoy the time you get even if plans fall through. I really love the use of colors in this book. When I used to read pictures books, I was always attracted to the ones that were colorful. It helped me be more engaged with the story and have a bit of fun with it. If I read this when I was younger, it would have definitely been one of my favorites!
Profile Image for Janet.
2,326 reviews27 followers
January 30, 2020
I remember writing in my review for Mora’s first illustrated story that I was looking forward to seeing more of her work. Here it is and it doesn’t disappoint, perhaps I like this more universal story more. Here the mother and daughter look forward to the activities they will do on the Mother’s Day off. Saturday ‘s plans fall apart, but this mother daughter duo save the evening.
Love the fact that the first activity was going to storytime at the library.
Love how Mora sometimes has old book clippings in her collages and I adore collages in general.
Profile Image for Marathon County Public Library.
1,451 reviews42 followers
March 5, 2020
Today will be special. Today will be splendid. Today is Saturday! Ava's mother works Sunday through Friday, so their Saturdays together are precious. Saturdays are filled with fun activities the mother-daughter duo partake in together: story time at the library, visits to the salon, and picnics in the park.

When Ava and her mother have a not-so-great Saturday, they take deep breaths and realize what is the best about Saturdays: precious time together. This tale is a great bedtime, story time, or anytime read-aloud.

Taylor W. / Marathon County Public Library
Profile Image for Gabi.
21 reviews1 follower
April 27, 2021
I loved this book for the story and the illustrations! This story is about Ava and her Saturday with her mom. In the story, Ava's mom has to work a lot. This is becoming more and more common with students and I think it's important for them to see this. Many students come from two income households. Ava knows that Saturday is the day that she can spend with her mom, so she has lots of things planned. However, things keep going wrong (as life does) and Ava must decide what is truly important. They decide to embrace the craziness and breathe to calm themselves. This is so important for kids to hear! All we need is each other.
410 reviews3 followers
January 30, 2020
I like this new book written by Oge Mora, who also wrote the award-winning "Thank you, Omu!". The bonding between the mother and the daughter is so strong that even a series of "unfortunate" events won't affect it. They enjoy spending time together and every Saturday becomes special. I would encourage my teacher candidates to include this book in their unit plan on family to increase the diversity of their selections.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 481 reviews

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