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Amos & Boris Paperback – September 15, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“There is no question that Steig's affectionately witty pictures and perfectly complementary narration make this a durable picture book friendship.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“The book is funny and earnest, pellucid and profound.” ―The New York Times Book Review

“* A simple, matter-of-fact story about the friendship between a mouse and a whale. . . . Lovely watercolor pictures and a funny, well-written text which presents its plot coincidences in tongue-in-cheek manner fit together admirably in this faintly Aesopian tale.” ―School Library Journal, Starred Review

About the Author

William Steig (1907-2003) was a cartoonist, illustrator and author of award-winning books for children, including Shrek!, on which the DreamWorks movies are based. Steig was born in New York City. Every member of his family was involved in the arts, and so it was no surprise when he decided to become an artist. He attended City College and the National Academy of Design. In 1930, Steig's work began appearing in The New Yorker, where his drawings have been a popular fixture ever since. He published his first children's book, Roland the Minstrel Pig, in 1968.

In 1970, Steig received the Caldecott Medal for Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. His books for children also include Dominic; The Real Thief; The Amazing Bone, a Caldecott Honor Book; Amos & Boris, a National Book Award finalist; and Abel's Island and Doctor De Soto, both Newbery Honor Books. Steig's books have also received the Christopher Award, the Irma Simonton Black Award, the William Allen White Children's Book Award, and the American Book Award. His European awards include the Premio di Letteratura per l'infanzia (Italy), the Silver Pencil Award (the Netherlands), and the Prix de la Fondation de France. On the basis of his entire body of work, Steig was selected as the 1982 U.S. candidate for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for Illustration and subsequently as the 1988 U.S. candidate for Writing.

Stieg also published thirteen collections of drawings for adults, beginning with About People in 1939, and including The Lonely Ones, Male/Female, The Agony in the Kindergarten, and Our Miserable Life.

He died in Boston at the age of 95.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 03
  • Lexile Measure: AD810L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 28 pages
  • Publisher: HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT; 1 edition (December 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031253566X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312535667
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Susan Byers VINE VOICE on October 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
As far as I am concerned, William Steig should be given a Pulitzer Prize for his body of children's literature. I don't think any one author/illustrator has such a catalog of playful, meaningful, generous, witty, profound and literate books for young people. Amos and Boris is a distillation of all the great themes of life: friendship, courage, spiritual ecstacy, the question of an afterlife ("Would his soul go to heaven? Would there be any mice there?"), altruism and love.
As weighty as these issues are, they are simply part of the fabric of the wonderful story; there is nothing ponderous or cobbed on, no subtext. Steig's genius lies in his ability to create stories that appeal equally to small children, and to their parents and grandparents -- they ring that true on all levels.
The characters in this little book have become a part of my heart, as has William Steig. Don't miss it.
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Format: Hardcover
I love William Steig's work, and this is one of his best picture books. Steig always fills his books with love and family and friendship and with a love of life. Rarely in any type of literature will you find a book about friendship better than this one. The story of "Amos and Boris" is about a mouse and a whale. When the mouse has an accident in his sailing ship, he is saved by the whale. The two strike up an immediate and deep friendship which will continue though the two are forced to be worlds apart. "Amos and Boris" is a remarkable book for the meaningful lessons it teaches. It is also remarkable for the beautiful prose, the humor, and for the marvelous pictures by Steig. "Amos and Boris" is truly a perfect picture book for children and for adults.
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Format: Paperback
Most folks are familiar with William Steig for having written Shrek. But there is soooo much more. "Dominic" and "Amos and Boris" were two of the most memorable books from my childhood. I received tham as gifts from my parents and read and re-read them countless times.

I had long since lost my copies from childhood but ordered new when I read that the author had passed away.

I approached reading them with great trepidation as I feared that they would not live up to my memory of them.

I should not have worried!

I decided to read "Amos & Boris" first as "Dominic" was my absolute favorite. I figured if I did not feel the same magic, I would avoid re-reading "Dominic" so as not to diminsh my recollection. So one afternoon, after arriving home from work, I sat down with "Amos & Boris" and began to read it out loud. By the time I was 3 pages from the end of the book, I was weeping.

These books are special beyond words and I hope that William Steig understood how much beauty he brought into the world writing them.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book, and feel that William Steig is one of the most underrated and insightful children's authors. I have asked many people who have children that I know whether they have read any of his books, and the usual answer I receive is "no". What literature they have been missing out on! My son really enjoys this book, and it is one of the first books with a substantial amount of text on each page that I have been able to convince him to sit still to hear (he's almost three).
The story of a mouse and whale who find solace in a most unlikely friendship is charming and very applicable to human relationships. I think this book can teach children that friendship can be found in a people who are not necessarily like ourselves...and that these friendships are often some of the most important and profound in our lives. Hopefully, children will take away from this book the message that not everyone is the same, and that so much can be valued and gained from finding friends in those who are different from all the rest.
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Format: Paperback
This book is so charming and original and to top it off it is so poignant it almost brought tears to my eyes. The language is lyrical and the story is whimsical yet it explores issues such as lifelong friendship and our interconnectness. The mouse, Amos, heads off to sea and is so overwhelmed by its beauty and the feeling of oneness with creation that he rolls right off his boat and has to be saved by a friendly whale, Boris. Amos hopes he can repay his friend someday although it is hard to imagine how a little mouse could help a big powerful whale. Sure enough Amos will get his moment! This book is great for a range of ages and will delight both parents and children.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The story and illustrations of this children's book are absolutely lovely. But parents of young children be aware, the words are many on each page and they are big and advanced (on one page alone: "leisurely," "exchanging," "developed," "admiration," "delicacy," "quivering daintiness," "gemlike radiance," "grandeur," and "abounding friendliness" - phew!) and concepts - like death. I love exposing my child to these big words but it can get tiring when at every other word they stop to ask what it means - I wonder how much of the story he truly understands. I also found myself choked up at the end (spoiler alert) when the two friends, after a near death situation, part to never see each other again. My little kid had many, many big questions about death and dying and being helpless - not an ideal conversation right before bed. This book covers some big life stuff...but it is a beautiful book with a lasting story that goes deep.
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