Each morning Amos McGee rises, dresses in his freshly pressed zookeeper’s uniform, and ambles out the door to catch the number 5 bus to his job at the city zoo. Before he begins his workday, Amos visits with his good friends the elephant, the tortoise, the penguin, and the rhinoceros, and at sunset reads to the owl (who is afraid of the dark).
Amos is devoted to his friends. He waits patiently while the elephant takes a long time making moves while they play chess. He doesn’t mind when the tortoise always wins their races. He has empathy for the shy, timid penguin, and he always carries a tissue for the rhinoceros who suffers from allergies. And the owl, well, Amos’ friend the owl is afraid of the dark.
One morning, Amos doesn’t make it to the zoo. He has a bad case of the flu. The elephant, the tortoise, the penguin, the rhinoceros, and the owl wait patiently for Amos until they can wait no longer. They take the number 5 bus to their friend’s house. Amos is quite pleased to see his friends, and he allows them to take care of him. At the end of the day, all the friends snuggle up together in Amos’ bed.
Philip Stead’s story A Sick Day for Amos McGee is about the give-and-take and devotion of friendship. It is gently told, and the palette of Erin Stead’s soft and subtle 2011 Caldecott Medal winning illustrations contribute to the soothing pace of the story.
It’s snuggle-up and heartwarming — a perfect bedtime story.
A Sick Day for Amos McGee, Roaring Book Press, New York, 2010, ages 2 to 6
This book received 5 out of 5 stars in 183 customer reviews at Amazon.com