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Saturday, August 24, 2019

Saturday, by Oge Mora. Little, Brown and Company. Hachette. 2019. $24.99 ages 3 and up

"They paused, closed their
eyes, and - whew! - let out
a deep breath.

"Don't worry, Ava," her mother
reassured her.
"Today will be special.
Today will be splendid ... "


Ava and her mother don't have much opportunity to spend quality time together. Her mother works six days a week; they must carve out time on SATURDAY to do those things they love to do. They embrace everything about this very special day of the week.

Most weeks, they have a stick-to-it plan - storytime, salon time, picnic time, and one other very special time. Today their day will end with a 'one-night-only-puppet show'. They can't wait. As can happen when life gets in the way, this particular Saturday does not go according to their plan.

They are more than disappointed to arrive at the library and learn storytime has been cancelled. But, things are sure to be okay because it's SATURDAY. Off they go to get their hair styled. Just as they leave the salon, a splash of water from a puddle and a passing car proves disastrous to their new looks. Not to worry - it's SATURDAY, and it's going to be all right. A quiet picnic is turned on its heel when the park is filled with people, animals and too much noise. Another setback, but not to worry. Nothing is going to ruin this day they decide, as they dash for the bus. They will not miss the puppet show.

But, where are the tickets? Oh dear, what will Ava and her mother do now? Ava has learned a lesson in reassurance and patience from her mother, and uses that lesson to ensure that the end to their coveted day ends well.

What a wonderful story to read aloud. The repetition for each phase of the family outing, the relaxed way the dilemma is handled, the love shared during a day together brings calm and wonder to those reading the book. The gorgeous collage artwork, created with “with acrylic paint, china markers, patterned paper, and old-book clippings,” is filled with color, action, and wonderful moments. Each scene beckons a young child back for a more careful look. Be attentive to the endpapers. They are telling and perfect.
This is definitely a 'keeper'.

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