A Sick Day for Amos McGee
written by Philip C. Stead
illustrated by Erin E. Stead


Philip C. Stead's A Sick Day for Amos McGee
illustrated by Erin E. Stead

Children's book review by Steve Barancik

Ages 3-8

The Zoo Animals Come for a Visit

Amos McGee can dress himself, and he knows how to take the bus, though he still sleeps with a teddy bear, wears bunny slippers, and lets a friendly mouse run loose in his bedroom.

Amos McGee looks to be about 67 years old.

And he lives a life that makes being a grown-up look like a great deal of fun. You see...

Amos works at the zoo.

And while he has real responsibilities - never explored - the important thing to know is he takes time to be a friend. A friend to:

  • the elephant, who needs a chess partner
  • the tortoise, who likes to race someone he can beat
  • the penguin, too shy to play with his peers
  • the rhinoceros, always in need of a handkerchief

One day, Amos isn't feeling very well. And when he doesn't show up to the zoo, well...

His animal friends come to see him.

Husband-wife team Philip and Erin Stead team up to share this world with us - Philip telling the story, and Erin making it seem oh-so-possible.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee - review

Some of the best children's books simply depict the world as any child would want it to be. The animals should run loose at City Zoo, and they should be our friends, and owls should have stories read to them when they're afraid of the dark.

And when we feel love for someone, we should get love back. Amos McGee gets to live in that wonderful world where The Golden Rule works like magic.

Husband-wife team Philip and Erin Stead team up to share this world with us - Philip telling the story, and Erin making it seem oh-so-possible.

Amos McGee leaving work

Her silent animals are wonderfully expressive; her colored pencil, woodblock-printed illustrations won her the 2011 Caldecott Medal.

The lag time between kindness and reward can be frustrating for any of us. A Sick Day for Amos McGee reminds us that being nice isn't that hard and is always worth it in the end.

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