I’m so excited to share this debut picture book today! I’ve met the creator, Joowon, a couple of times and I was so delighted to finally see this book on the shelves. A heartwarming, simple, and beautiful story about a grandfather’s routine and his favorite day of the week spent with his granddaughter. Come and see Our Favorite Day by Joowon Oh, 2019.
What is it about?
The central character of this story is Papa. We follow him through a normal day and his routine: tea, trip to town, lunch, and home again. But that night, we are told, he goes to bed early. Hm…. The next morning, his routine is seemingly normal, but there are more tiny additions in the text and the pictures that a careful observer will note. He picks up supplies at the craft store he peeked in the day before and the cashier notes that it must be Thursday. At the restaurant, he takes two orders to go. And on the way home, he picks some flowers.
“Then he waits.”
When his awaited guest, his granddaughter, arrives, they enjoy the special lunch he brought home and survey the craft supplies to make something special together. Thursdays are their favorite day.
Why I picked it?
Oh what a sweet story! I was charmed immediately upon my first read-through in the store. And every reread, I take more of it in. I love the pacing of the story. It is very deliberate in its timing, surprisingly reminding me of the slow-pace of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood that we discussed yesterday! There is no rush. It is thoughtful, purposeful, and enjoyable. Joowon Oh uses the text very carefully and adds nothing unnecessarily. While the pace is calming and soothing for the story, it also fits and feels just right for the main character of Papa too. I love the use of an older character for a main character in a picture book! And Oh’s use of the page turn when Papa waits, is just perfection!
The story would very possibly be too slow and boring if it weren’t for the pictures. An excellent marriage between text and illustration, which is why this is one of my favorite books of the year. Oh’s illustrations are stunning! Using watercolor, gouache, and cut paper, she has created charming and fascinating illustrations to carry and compliment the story. I adore studying the illustrations, admiring all the tiny and precise details and the lovely, sparingly used patterns. And the color palette is honestly breathtaking. What a magnificent creation!
Who will love this?
This book is delightful. I cannot imagine any child not being mesmerized by the simple joy of this story. I highly recommend this book as a gift from grandparent to grandchild, or vice versa!
Bonus Gift Pairings
The best gift pairing with this book is a basket of kite-making supplies (spoiler: that’s what they make!) I love the simple supplies they have and the one-of-a-kind project they create. If you want to make it even simpler on yourself to put together, opt for a kite kit like one of these beginner sets; there’s even a butterfly one, though the age recommendation gives me pause. I also adore this Design Your Own Butterfly Wings kit if you can track it down!
I hope you go find this gem and support the amazing creator (and a local bookstore too!) Thanks for following along with my favorite books from the year. See you soon with another book gift suggestion!