A Sick Day for Amos McGee
A Sick Day for Amos McGee: Friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In Amos McGee’s case, all sorts of species, too!
How to Build Character Through Books!
A Sick Day for Amos McGee
Friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In Amos McGee’s case, all sorts of species, too! Every day he spends a little bit of time with each of his friends at the zoo, running races with the tortoise, keeping the shy penguin company, and even reading bedtime stories to the owl.
But when Amos is too sick to make it to the zoo, his animal friends decide it’s time they returned the favor.
Philip C. Stead is the author of the Caldecott Medal–winning book A Sick Day for Amos McGee. With his wife, illustrator Erin Stead, he also created Bear Has a Story to Tell. Philip lives in Michigan with his wife, Erin.
See more about Philip and Erin at www.numberfivebus.com, or visit their instagram, @number5bus
“A Sick Day for Amos McGee thrust its way into my heart in January 2011 when it won the Caldecott Medal. I had run a mock Caldecott unit with my third grade class, and this book wasn’t even on our radar enough to put on our ballots. I had some definite favorites that year, both for the Caldecott Medal and for timeless books I wanted to make sure I bought for my own children and I was initially crushed when some of those favorites weren’t recognized at the ALA award. Until I went to the bookstore that afternoon, bought A Sick Day for Amos McGee, and realized how amazing it was. Though Philip Stead had published one book previously, A Sick Day for Amos McGee was his wife Erin’s first illustrated book… and both newbies hit the nail squarely on the head with this charming, timeless book. Amos McGee, zookeeper who will remind adults of Mr. Rogers, is one of the more endearing book characters I can think of. He wakes early each morning, greets even the items around his house and the bus driver, and is extraordinarily devoted to the animals at his zoo. He knows each one intimately, taking care to make them feel comfortable and loved. Until, one day… Amos McGee gets sick. Amos’s tenderness with his animal friends is reflected in the worry they feel about him and the actions they take to ensure that he too feels comfortable and loved. This is the kind of story that makes children and adults alike want to treat their friends and loved ones the same way Amos McGee does. And the illustrations! Erin’s pencil and woodblock prints are done with minimal, reserved color, but are full of details that render each reading of those story new and exciting. I didn’t notice the repeated inclusion of a red balloon, tiny bird, and mouse until the fourth or fifth time that I read the book! Tiny details aside, Erin’s sketches allow the sweet, caring personalities of each character to show through. Readers feel genuinely concerned about the rhino with a runny nose, depicted with constant concern or worry on his face reflecting just how sick he feels, and compassionate toward the shy penguin, drawn with his wings and toes pointed in, as if he’s trying to curl up small enough to go unnoticed. Philip and Erin Stead, thank you for this book. A story of the kindest of friends, timeless illustrations leaving you with more with every reading… It was an instant favorite with my room full of third graders, and it is now a favorite with my own children (2 and 4.5). Publishers recommend this for ages 4-8, but it can definitely be enjoyed younger and likely older too! If you loved A Sick Day for Amos McGee, check out Bear Has a Story To Tell, the duo’s second collaboration together. It’s every bit as charming of a friendship story with as many fun details that make it new and interesting to read each time. For that matter, I love every single book that Philip Stead has written and every book Erin Stead has illustrated!” —Amazon Reviewer Children’s Lit Love
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