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Great Illustrated Books

A Sick Day For Amos McGee

By Philip C. Stead, Illustrated By Erin E. Stead

Roaring Brook Press
Pages : 32
Suggested Ages: 2-6
ISBN: 978-1596434028

Winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal, this should be on every child’s bookshelf.  

Amos McGee is a punctual man of routine who works at the zoo.  Each day he wakes at the same time, puts on his uniform, has tea and oatmeal, and catches the bus to work.  Once there, he looks forward to spending time with his favorite animals: he plays chess with an elephant, runs races with a tortoise, sits quietly with a shy penguin, offers his handkerchief to a rhinoceros with a runny nose, and reads bedtime stories to the owl, who is afraid of the dark.  When Amos comes down with a cold, his friends wonder where he is and decide to venture out of the zoo to visit him.  They reenact a typical day at the zoo at Amos’s small, cozy home, drink tea, and offer him comfort and companionship while he is sick.  Soon it is bedtime, and the animals and Amos all tuck in for the night because another big day at the zoo lies ahead.

A SICK DAY FOR AMOS MCGEE is a beautiful story of friendship and acceptance that is made richer by Erin E. Stead’s beautiful woodblock prints.  Her use of soft colors with a small pop of red here and there bring the story to life and will enchant young and old.  Highly recommended for all picture book readers, this sweet story will be one that children return to again and again, and it is an especially good choice when feeling under the weather!


Reviewed by : Amanda Brown

Themes :

If you love this book, then try:

Bear Has a Story To Tell By Philip C. Stead
The Invisible Boy By Trudy Ludwig
Hey, Little Ant By Phillip M. Hoose
The Lion and the Mouse By Jerry Pinkney

Critics have said

“Observant readers will notice tiny surprises hidden in plain sight: a red balloon, a tiny mouse and sparrow popping up here and there in the story. Erin E. Stead, the illustrator, overlays her pencil sketches with gentle tones of pink, peach, blue and green, and bright red spots that belie the deceptive ordinariness of the text.” ―The New York Times Book Review

“Thick, creamy paper and a muted palette add to the gentle resonance of a story that ends with everyone tucked in at last for a sweet night's sleep.” ―Washington Post

“It's hard to believe that this is Erin Stead's first children's book-her woodcut and oil-ink artwork is so warmly appealing that she seems like an old pro.” ―Time Out New York Kids

“Here is a book that exemplifies that happy combination where words and pictures carry equal weight and yet somehow create a whole that defies arithmetic.” ―BookPage