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The Reading Culture

The Things We Know: Oge Mora on Finding the Magic in the Everyday

The Reading Culture
The Reading Culture
"It's not like I haven't experienced pain or tragedy or grief in my life, and it's not like I want to deny that. I don't think that that's the entirety of my song. When I want to look back on my life, I want to look at all the amazing things and experiences I had because that's what makes the time we have in this world so incredibly special, is that we have these connections, we have these experiences with people.” - Oge Mora

Life is full of small pleasures, bits of magic in ordinary moments that so often go underappreciated. Oge Mora wants to draw attention to those small things and show us the true depth and meaning those moments have in our lives.

In her work as a collage artist, she takes bits and pieces of scrap material and shows us their beauty when all put together. Much like her stories, we are shown that small things are what make the big things, like a Saturday spent with a loved one, or the enticing aroma of an old family recipe.

Oge Mora burst onto the kid lit scene with her picture book “Thank You, Omu!”, a book that earned her a Caldecott Honor, a Coretta Scott King John Steptoe New Talent Award, and a host of other accolades. She was also a 2021 Forbes 303 Under 30 lister.

In this episode, Oge tells us about the community support that built the foundation for her career, the art school epiphany that shifted her perspective from shame to pride, and why she wants her books to feel like a cup of hot cocoa. If you're looking for a moment of joy, you have found it here.


Connect with Jordan and The Reading Culture @thereadingculturepod and subscribe to our newsletter at thereadingculturepod.com/newsletter.


In Oge’s reading challenge, "Story Collage" she shares some of her favorite picture books with collage illustrations.

You can find her list and all past reading challenges at thereadingculturepod.com.

Today’s Beanstack Featured Librarian is Alli Buffington, Library Media Specialist at Holley Navarre Intermediate School in Santa Rosa County, Florida. She’ll tell us about the most successful reading challenge she’s run at her school.


Chapter 1 - Repeat Renewals (2:31)

Chapter 2 - Sister Catherine and The Doodler (7:13)

Chapter 3 - A Street Called Home (14:27)

Chapter 4 - That Little Bit of Shift (18:40)

Chapter 5 - An Homage to Connection With Others (25:28)

Chapter 6 - More of Less, and More (32:12)

Chapter 7 - Collage of Stories (32:57)

Chapter 8 - Beanstack Featured Librarian (34:15)


Host: Jordan Lloyd Bookey

Producer: Jackie Lamport and Lower Street Media

Script Editors: Josia Lamberto-Egan, Jackie Lamport, Jordan Lloyd Bookey

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