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Archive for November 11th, 2019

by Sam Juliano

Come Saturday morning
I’m goin’ away with my friend
Well Saturday-spend ’til the end of the day-ay
Just I and my friend
We’ll travel for miles in our Saturday smiles
And then we’ll move on    -The Sandpipers, 1969

Picture book wunderkind Oge Mora, a master of collage and familial immersion, won a Caldecott Honor last year for her maiden work Thank You Omu!, a stirring tribute to her beloved Grandmother.  Omu, a miracle of acrylic collage, china markers, pastels, patterned paper and old book clippings is a story of magnanimity, gratefulness and the adage that in the end one will be treated as they treat others.  To be sure the book is a study of sacrifice and how the most noble in our ranks will think of themselves only after they’ve thought of everyone around them.  Mora has followed her magnificent debut with another exploration of the family, again with an acute focus on a special relationship and again using the same style and materials that made the first book so resplendent.  Disavowing the common conviction of the week’s sixth day, Mora paints a picture of plans gone awry on the one day when mutual freedom should set the stage for blissful negotiation to complete appointments and unique entertainment.  In the end of course bad luck does nothing to impact the only things that really matters:  synergy and love.

End papers sporting varying shades of violet showcase a monthly calendar featured X’d off dates, with only Saturday the 30th left to be completed.  Big bright stars connote planned activities for for the titular weekend day, and the planned content is auspicious as is the wish list printed by a youngster.  A busy double page title spread launches Saturday’s story arc, with a young girl rising from bed as her mother greets a new day with coffee.  Plenty of collage cut outs signify familial bliss, one where positive energy greatly outweighs economic limitations.  This basic premise is accentuated by the revelation that Ava’s hard-working mom even works on Sunday in a six-day schedule.  Only Saturday, the reprieve so many baby boomers relied on for early morning television, trips to the local library, outdoor basketball and baseball games and for some the certainty they’d sleep way past their normal wake-up time.  In a quartet of paper cut vignettes, Mora depicts a diverse itinerary, involving story-time at the library, a trip to the beauty salon, outdoor quality time at the local park, and as a special finale for this particular penultimate day of the week. Mora the illustrator frames the happy anticipation in bumblebee yellow which allows the collages to jump off the page in three-dimensional sublimity.  Mora the author encapsulates the cheery expectations with a circular frenzy of Mom and and daughter in preparatory mode. (more…)

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