Bookshelf: A Sick Day for Amos McGee


I love this dynamic duo of author/illustrator Philip C. Stead and illustrator Erin E. Stead. A Sick Day for Amos McGee is about a gentle, punctual soul who works at the zoo doing his tasks but always taking time out for his friends and doing with them exactly what it is they like to do. He plays chess with the elephant and sits quietly with the penguin and reads bedtime stories to the owl who is afraid of the dark.

When Amos gets sick, the animals come take care of him, giving him just what he needs. Wordless spreads chronicle their journey across town, their deliberate determination and eventually kind smiles as they show up at his bedside. I love the illustrations as much as the story. The rhino wears a red scarf (because he always has a runny nose) and elephant holds shy penguin’s wing with his trunk as they leave the zoo. It all seems to make sense, there is not question that an elephant and rhino could find the bus stop and sit in an orderly line, peering out the window. This is a book of sweetness, kindness, and friendship, and a world I love to enter again and again.

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