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A Sick Day for Amos McGee
by Erin Stead and Philip Christian Stead

Overview - THE BEST SICK DAY EVER and the animals in the zoo feature in this striking picture book debut. 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.  Read more...

 
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More About A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Erin Stead; Philip Christian Stead
 
 
 
Overview
THE BEST SICK DAY EVER and the animals in the zoo feature in this striking picture book debut. 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.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781596434028
  • ISBN-10: 1596434023
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publish Date: May 2010
  • Page Count: 32
  • Reading Level: Ages 3-6


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > Health & Daily Living - Diseases, Illnesses & Injuries
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Social Issues - Friendship
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Animals - Zoos

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2010-05-10
  • Reviewer: Staff

With quiet affection, this husband-and-wife team tells the story of a zookeeper whose devotion is repaid when he falls ill. On most days, the angular, elderly Amos rides the bus to the zoo, plays chess with the elephant ("who thought and thought before making a move"), sits quietly with the penguin, and spends time with his other animal friends. But when Amos catches a cold, the animals ride the bus to pay him a visit, each, in a charming turnabout, doing for Amos whatever he usually does for them. The elephant sets up the chessboard; the shy penguin sits on the bed, "keeping Amos's feet warm." Newcomer Erin Stead's elegant woodblock prints, breathtaking in their delicacy, contribute to the story's tranquility and draw subtle elements to viewers' attention: the grain of the woodblocks themselves, Amos's handsome peacock feather coverlet. Every face--Amos's as well as the animals'--brims with personality. Philip Stead's (Creamed Tuna Fish and Peas on Toast) narrative moves with deliberate speed, dreaming up a joyous life for the sort of man likely to be passed on the street without a thought. Ages 2–6. (June)

 
BookPage Reviews

Learning to care for others

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. A Sick Day for Amos McGee is the first collaborative effort by the husband-and-wife team of Philip and Erin Stead, and even their dedication is intertwined as each acknowledges the other in a never-ending circle of words. Their overlapping partnership produces illustrations and text in easy harmony for this understated tale sprinkled with subtle humor.

Amos is an elderly zookeeper who lives alone and methodically follows his daily routine. He schedules time to interact tenderly with each animal according to its need. In turn, when he doesn’t show up for work, the animals reciprocate by taking the bus to check on their sick caretaker. They know just what he needs and gently modify their activities to adjust to his condition. With their friend on the mend, they all fall asleep in a friendly huddle.

This is a heartwarming story, comforting without a lot of fuss. The unusual mixture of pencil drawing and softly colored woodblock printing enhances the peaceful tone. It’s an obvious choice as a reassuring read on a child’s sick day or before bedtime, but it would also be one to keep in mind for any time a quiet break is in order.

 
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