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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