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A Sick Day for Amos McGee Hardcover – May 25, 2010

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A Sick Day for Amos McGee + Locomotive (Caldecott Medal Book) + The Day the Crayons Quit
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Lexile Measure: 760L (What's this?)
  • Series: AWARDS: ALA: Youth Media Award Winners 2011
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press; First Edition edition (May 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596434023
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596434028
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 0.4 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Product Description

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.

A Look Inside A Sick Day for Amos McGee
(Click on Images to Enlarge)

"Hooray! My friends are here!" Taking the bus to see Amos
The elephant prepared a game of chess. The penguin sat quietly, keeping Amos's feet warm.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2—Amos McGee, an elderly man who works at the zoo, finds time each day for five special friends. With empathy and understanding he gives the elephant, tortoise, penguin, rhinoceros, and owl the attention they need. One morning, Amos wakes up with a bad cold and stays home in bed. His friends wait patiently and then leave the zoo to visit him. Their trip mirrors his daily bus ride to the zoo and spans three nearly wordless spreads. Amos, sitting up in bed, clasps his hands in delight when his friends arrive. The elephant plays chess with him, and the tortoise plays hide-and-seek. The penguin keeps Amos's feet warm, while the rhinoceros offers a handkerchief when Amos sneezes. They all share a pot of tea. Then the owl, knowing that Amos is afraid of the dark, reads a bedtime story as the other animals listen. They all sleep in Amos's room the rest of the night. The artwork in this quiet tale of good deeds rewarded uses woodblock-printing techniques, soft flat colors, and occasional bits of red. Illustrations are positioned on the white space to move the tale along and underscore the bonds of friendship and loyalty. Whether read individually or shared, this gentle story will resonate with youngsters.—Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Customer Reviews

This is one of my daughter's favorite book.
Nancy M.
I'd like that very much, and I'm wagering that a whole generation of children reading and loving this book are going to like it as well.
E. R. Bird
This is a simple, sweet story with beautiful illustrations.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

148 of 161 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Sometimes children's book reviewers bandy about the term "classic" like it was a verbal shuttlecock. There's nothing that raises the savvy readers' eyebrows faster than to see some wordsmith drooling profusely over "a new classic" or a book merely "destined to become a classic". Even worse is when they start calling a book "old-fashioned". Nine times out of then what they're talking about is the fact that the book parrots some picture book title of the past. That's the crazy thing about A Sick Day for Amos McGee. It doesn't parrot anyone, and when you read it you feel like you've know the book your whole life. Could have been written last year, ten years ago, or fifty. Doesn't matter because the word "timeless" may as well be stamped all over each and every doggone page. If you want to give a child a book that will remain with them always (and lead to decades of folks growing up and desperately trying to relocate it with the children's librarians of the future) this is the one that you want. Marvelous.

Each morning it's the same. Amos McGee gets out of bed, puts on his uniform, and goes to his job as zookeeper in the City Zoo. Amos takes his job very seriously. He always makes sure to play chess with the elephant, run races with the tortoise, sit quietly with the penguin, blow the rhino's runny nose, and tell stories to the owl at dusk. Then one day Amos wakes up sick and has to stay in bed. The animals, bereft of his presence, decide something must be done. So they pick themselves up and take the bus to Amos's house to keep him company for a change. And after everyone helps him out, Amos reads them all a story and each one of them tucks in for the night.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Kiera Parrott on July 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Philip C. Stead's charming story about a zookeeper and his animal companions is matched beautifully with the elegant pencil drawings and woodblock printings by his wife, Erin. E. Stead. From the very start the reader is drawn in by a warm two-page spread that depicts Amos' bedroom. The action that moves the viewer's eye towards the right- Amos stretching as his day begins and his armoire opened invitingly- is complemented by a series of strong vertical lines. There are the wide yellow stripes of the wallpaper and the thin green stripes on his pajamas. The effect is a sense of being enveloped, or better yet, being hugged. It is a feeling appropriate in a story about mutual affection, genuine kindness, and true friendship.

Amos McGee is an older gentleman (in the truest sense of the term) who lives in a little house sandwiched between two high-rise apartment buildings (a nod to Virginia Lee Burton's The Little House, I presume). Each morning after a bit of oatmeal and tea, Amos heads out in a fresh-pressed uniform to begin his workday at the City Zoo. It is clear from the first glimpse that this zoo is atypical: outside the gate, sitting high in a branch of a tree on the sidewalk, sits a monkey as comfortable as can be; inside the gate we can see a giraffe frolicking on the wide lawn. It doesn't appear that these animals reside in the usual enclosures. Indeed, the animals seem to enjoy a life more akin to a fancy retirement community. We discover that Amos spends his days playing chess with the elephant, running races with the tortoise, sitting quietly with the shy penguin, soothing the rhino's runny nose, and reading bedtime tales to the owl.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Rachel A. Dale on January 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Our librarian threw this new book in with our requested items because she thought we would enjoy it. Boy, was she right! Sweet, sweet story with unique and fascinating illustrations. I couldn't get enough of the pictures. I've already looked to see if Stead illustrated other books, but....sadly...no.

I highly recommend this book for toddlers and preschoolers. LOVE IT!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Delightful Children's Books on January 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A Sick Day for Amos McGee is a very sweet book about a friendship between a zookeeper named Amos and the animals he cares for. When Amos gets sick, his friends elephant, tortoise, penguin, rhinocerous and owl come to his house to comfort and care for him. Erin McGee's lovely, layered illustrations convincingly depict the friendship between Amos and the zoo animals.

I enjoyed reading this book and look forward to sharing it with my children. As a child, I would have loved imaging befriending the animals in this story. As a parent, I hope my children are surrounded by such thoughtful friends.

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Beccaboney VINE VOICE on June 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I absolutely LOVE beautifully illustrated books, especially young children's books. This one fits the bill.

The story begins with an older man who wakes up alone and makes his way by bus to his job at the zoo. He befriends animals there who begin to look forward to his arrival. He seems like a gentle soul. When he doesn't arrive for work the next day, the animals decide to take the bus to see him. The end up caring for him at his home.

My one knock on this book is a personal one - animals are seen doing human-like acts, which I think confuses young children. But I know some adults think this is fun for the kids.

So the story is gentle which appeals to me, but what really knocks my socks off is the illustrations. It's the first by this woman, the author's wife, and I hope she does more. I was so intrigued by the face of the man she drew, and the animals look very realistic. I really enjoyed this aspect of the book.

Great for ages 4-8.
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More About the Author

Philip C. Stead divides his time between Ann Arbor, Michigan, and New York City. Philip is the author and illustrator of Creamed Tuna Fish and Peas on Toast, and the author of A Sick Day for Amos McGee.

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