A Sick Day for Amos McGee Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2019-05-29 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 315 user ratings

"A Sick Day for Amos McGee is a Caldecott Award picture book written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead. I selected this book from the ALSC website. A Sick Day for Amos McGee evokes emotions of warmth and sympathy. In particular, Amos McGee, the main character, is a dedicated zookeeper with regular routines. Despite his duties at the zoo, Amos always makes time for his animal friends. He enjoys playing chess with the elephant, running races with the tortoise, and reading stories to the owl. Consequently, the animals are attached to Amos; thus, when he wakes up sick and cannot go to work one day, the story is reversed as the animals decide to do something extraordinary…

The profound theme in A Sick Day for Amos McGee reveals some of the essential qualities of friendship, including kindness, mutual caring, and altruism. The interactions between Amos and the zoo animals confirm that their friendship is truly genuine. Amos is a responsible and faithful character; he is motivated by pure compassion. Amos is simply charming. The story is told through simple text. The plot is intriguing and entertaining, and it keeps the reader engaged. The illustrations are gentle adding warmth to this beautiful picture book. The illustrator skillfully used woodblock prints to add soft color to the pencil drawings and, as a result, brought the characters to life and made each page visually appealing. The wordless pages create a pleasant balance allowing the illustrations to narrate the story. I would implement A Sick Day for Amos McGee in the primary grades as a read aloud to reflect on the nature of friendship as well as the importance of responsibility. In particular, book activities can engage students in retelling, sequencing events, investigating how illustrations create emotional impact on the reader and extend the story, making text-to-self connections, differentiating between fact and fiction, as well as identifying story structures. Because the characters in this picture book are animals, students can identify and classify the different types of zoo animals and explore the role of a zookeeper.

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" Lovely, quiet story, beautiful illustrations " said.

" Somehow, I just never got around to reading this book. I'm glad I finally did. What a beautiful tale of friendship. Stead is quite talented with making books that have characters that come to life in his book. They become dimensional characters that you wish would reside outside of the pages. " said.

" A Sick Day for Amos McGee is a beautiful picture book. In a day where it seems bright colors, and crazy art rule picture books, A Sick Day for Amos McGee is beautiful in its unflashiness. This great tale of friendship and love will become a long time favorite in both my classroom and home. " said.

" A lovely, understated story about friendship and empathy. And the illustrations are beautiful, humorous yet sensitive and expressive. The use of colors is refreshingly sober. I'll have some more of that, please ...I could see this as a story time read, but there are details in the pictures that are best appreciated with a lap read. " said.

"I thought that this book was very well written and told a very cute story. Amos McGee is a zoo keeper and visits his animal friends every day to take care of them. One day, he is sick and can't make it to work, so the animals decide to pay him a visit and take care of him. I thought that the theme of friendship and loyalty shined through the pages, with the idea that you should always be there for your friends. It was comical to see the animals waiting at the bus stop, and I am sure children would enjoy that as well. This children's picture book is great for lower level readers, especially because of the penciled pictures and comic relief. In a young classroom this book could be used in a journal entry for what the students would do if they were home sick for a day. It can also be used in the science subject by studying the kinds of animals in the book, such as elephants or owls.

Stead, P., & Stead, E. (2010). A sick day for Amos McGee. New York City: Roaring Brook Press.
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"This book has an old fashioned vibe to the illustrations. I wasn't certain what my reaction would be to this book, but I ended up loving it. It's a tale of friendship. Amos McGee is a creature of habit. Each day at the zoo, he visits his friends. He plays chess with the elephant, gives a tissue to the rhino and reads stories to the owl and so on. One day, he gets sick and stays home. His friends miss him and decide to take action.

What I love is that Amos McGee probably doesn't think he is doing much...he has a routine that he follows and he lives a simple life. And yet, it is clear that he is making the lives of each of his unique, diverse friends better through his simple acts of kindness and concern and by meeting each of their unique needs. I think there are a number of reasons this touched me. First, sometimes I feel like my quiet little life doesn't have the power to change the world...I'm no Ghandi or MLK Jr. or Mother Teresa. But I think this book relates to something Mother Teresa said: "If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." Amos McGee didn't do anything grand, but he did show kindness and concern for those he came in contact with. I can do that too. Second, his friends are a diverse bunch. Now while I recognize that his friends are animals, they are a diverse bunch. It's a nice reminder that we can be friends with people of a variety of backgrounds. (And oh, how our world needs that!!) And finally, as a teacher, we seem to be talking a lot about equity in our school/district. My favorite definition of equity is not making everything equal but providing what each child needs to be successful. And that is what Amos does...he provides what each animal needs to be healthy/happy. I love this! (It's always possible that I am reading much more into this than the author's intent...I've spent the week preparing for a new school year and between that and recent events in the news, I have had lots brewing in my head which probably affected my interpretation.)
" said.

" I read this to my daughter several times a day. She LOVES the rhinoceros with the runny nose! " said.

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