Read & Play: Thank You, Omu!


Like many libraries in Brooklyn and across the U.S., Cortelyou Library recently participated in  Read for the Record, a shared reading event that highlights the importance of early literacy. This year's book was a 2019 Caldecott Honor winner called Thank You, Omu!  by Oge Mora and we read it together during storytime.

Mora, who was awarded the 2019 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award, said the book was inspired by the "giving heart" of her grandmother, who she called Omu. Pronounced (AH-Moo), Omu means "queen" in Igbo, a Nigerian language.

In the cumulative story, a generous woman named Omu cooks a big pot of stew in her apartment. It smells so delicious that soon she is giving away stew to everyone who knocks on her door.  However, when it is time for Omu to eat, the stew pot is empty. Her visitors then return bringing Omu a variety of food and a special thank-you card from the youngest visitor.

At our event, we sang songs about food and celebrations, such as Bate Chocolate, a Spanish children’s song about making a festive hot chocolate drink. We also made thankful cards and decorated them with crayon leaf rubbings and sang a new version of a familiar song -- If You’re Thankful and You Know It -- that we learned at

As families get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving, Thank You, Omu! is a wonderful book to read together and remember to share what we have with others and to give thanks.

Read for the Record is sponsored by Jumpstart, an organization dedicated to promoting the importance of early language and literacy skills. Over 20 million people have participated in Read for the Record and hundreds of thousands of books have been donated to children in underserved communities to give them a jumpstart on learning. 

Look here for books on Being Thankful



This blog post reflects the opinions of the author and does not necessarily represent the views of Brooklyn Public Library.


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