Inside: I love kids books about kindness that simultaneously show children how acts of generosity can impact a person so profoundly. Thank You, Omu! Is a new favorite children’s book that handles this topic exquisitely. Check it out!
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A Kids Book About Kindness AND Acts of Generosity – There’s Nothing Better!
Beautiful sentiment? Check. Gorgeous illustrations? Check. Diversity? Check. A message we hope every child will embrace and embody? Check, check, check. In other words, Thank You, Omu!, the stunning debut by Nigerian author Oge Mora, embodies everything I love in a picture book — and it blew me away from the very first read. If you are looking for a stunning kids book about kindness that also showcases acts of generosity, this is the book for you!
Right off the bat, we learn that “Omu” is the Igbo word for “Queen.” Thank You, Omu! begins with Omu cooking a delicious red stew to eat for dinner, and its delectable scent travels all throughout the neighborhood. As one neighbor after another visits Omu to find the source of the yummy aroma, each asks for a bowl of stew, and Omu generously shares with all.
But when Omu is ready to make dinner for herself, she comes to a sad realization: the pot is empty, and there is no stew left for her! Whatever will she do? The end of the story will delight young readers, reminding us that kindness and generosity are truly infectious.
It is often hard for children to part with things they love- be it toys, markers, or delicious snacks. Yet Thank You, Omu! so beautifully imparts that tremendous joy can be found in sharing the things we love with others.
Even better? The story conveys that when we perform good deeds, without any expectation of receiving something in return, we add kindness to the world, and that kindness is paid forward in miraculous ways. Add to this tender story the diverse landscape and cast of characters, as well as the sprinkling of Nigerian culture, and Thank You, Omu! becomes a perfect addition to our #booksforbetter collection. Gratitude and selflessness are values woven into the fabric of people and cultures around the world, and these values are beautifully portrayed through Mora’s stunning collages illustrations and perfect prose. Can you tell how much we love it? Two trunks up for this fabulous story about kindness!!
Extend Thank You, Omu! with this Fabulous Activity!
One of the things I love most about Thank You, Omu!,, in addition to the beautiful story, is the vibrant, collaged artwork. If you are looking for a way to extend this book with an activity for home or your classrooms, one way to do this is to teach children about collages by making their own Gratitude Pots!
The idea is simple – your children will make a collaged gratitude poster. Give your kids or students a piece of poster board, crayons and markers, together with a bunch of magazines, catalogues, newspapers, photographs and the like. On the poster board, have children draw a big pot. They can also take different scraps of paper found in the magazines to make the pot vibrant and colorful, just like the illustrations in Thank You, Omu!.
Coming out of the pot? The kids will create a collage of all the things they are grateful for! Whether its animals, foods, books, toys or even photos of their own families, kids can use the magazines or their own photographs to create a collage of the things that they value most, all of which are pouring into the love-filled pot. When the activity is finished? They will have a gorgeous Gratitude Pot of those things that mean the most to them, and they can proudly display it at home as a beautiful reminder of all the things in their lives for which they are thankful. Happy reading and happy creating!