A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead

The Story: Every day Amos McGee takes the bus to his job at the zoo. He has several good animal friends there who he visits daily. However, one day Amos wakes up sick and can’t go to work. The animals wait patiently for him but when he doesn’t arrive they take the bus and go and visit him. Each animal takes care of Amos in his own way and when night falls they curl up and keep Amos company.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee is a beautiful story about friends looking after each other. Amos and his friends (a tortoise, a rhinoceros, an elephant, a penguin and an owl) are creatures of habit and do the same thing every day (he plays chess with one, reads stories to another). Their relationships are so strong that when Amos is sick the animals find a way to take care of him. There is very little text in the story, on some pages there is none. Erin E. Stead’s illustrations are beautifully drawn using soft muted colours and they move the story along, especially on the pages where there is no text. Little details, like the rabbit slippers under his bed, and the picture of everybody curled up together at the end of the story show Amos’ love of animals and the comfort that they all share in their relationships.

This is a lovely story to share with a friend, it won the 2011 Caldecott Medal.

Age Range: 2 +

Author: Philip C. Stead / Illustrator: Erin E. Stead


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20 responses to “A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead”


  1. Catherine Friess avatar

    Thank you for linking your blog to Story Snug 🙂


  2. […] Read a wonderful, detailed review from School Library Journal, or a shorter one from the picture book review blog Story Snug. […]


  3. Stanley & Katrina avatar

    Hi! I am visiting via the blog hop. What a lovely review for a sweet book. The review even made me feel “warm and fuzzy”.
    ~Cool Mom for Stanley & Katrina von Cat the Master of Wisdom and Knowledge


    1. Catherine avatar

      Thank you for visiting Story Snug. I’m glad the review made you feel good, that was exactly how the book made me feel 🙂


  4. Renee C. avatar

    This book looks so fabulous and sweet – no wonder it’s an award winner! Thanks for linking it into the Kid Lit Blog Hop!


    1. Catherine avatar

      You’re welcome – this book definitely deserved to win an award.


  5. Sibel Hodge avatar

    Stopping by as part of the Kid Lit Blog Hop. This sounds so cute! 🙂


    1. Catherine avatar

      Thanks for visiting Story Snug, have just been to visit your blog too 🙂


  6. Katie @ Youth Literature Reviews avatar

    This is such a great book. Thanks for sharing your review with the Kid Lit Blog Hop!


    1. Catherine avatar

      You’re welcome, it’s fun to do a bit of blog hopping isn’t it 🙂


  7. ReadItDaddy avatar

    LOVE the look of this. Almost reminds me of a book (I’ve completely forgotten the name of) where a cheeky monkey pinches the Zookeeper’s keys and lets all the animals out to snuggle into bed with the Keeper and his wife. This sounds awesome though as does the central message in it.


    1. Catherine avatar

      It is a very simple story with a very heartwarming message. The only book I can think of where the zoo animals pinch a key is Pandamonium by Dan Crisp but there’s no snuggling up with a zookeeper so maybe we’re thinking of different books!


  8. Uschi avatar

    I love this book. All the animals seem so “human” in that each has his or her own special weakness, that Amos as a good friend recognises and supports them in. And when he needs support, all that love comes pouring back. It’s a beautiful, quiet little story. I don’t know if I would have picked it up in a bookshop, but it grows on you and both my children really enjoy it.


    1. Catherine avatar

      The support that Amos gives to each animal is lovely and the way that they repay him for that support demonstrates true friendship. I love the message that this book gives.


  9. Heather avatar

    Sounds like a wonderful book to get. Teaching a child to be kind takes some work and having a lovely story like this might just reinforce a very important human need – true friends.


    1. Catherine avatar

      The kindness in this book is beautiful- the characters really are true friends!


  10. Julie Grasso avatar

    Thankyou for such a wonderful book suggestion. I am so interested in any books that teach about loving and looking after others. I am very passionate about teaching this concept to my daughter so this book will be very welcome in our house. Thankyou for linking in to the kid lit blog hop . Cheers Julie Grasso


    1. Catherine avatar

      This is a great book about caring for friends, the story leaves you with a really warm cosy feeling at the end 🙂


  11. karen avatar

    oh I think my son would like that book for when he is sick, will have to check it out. THanks!


    1. Catherine avatar

      You’re welcome, thank you for visiting Story Snug 🙂

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