A Sick Day for Amos McGee

Book review by
Kate Pavao, Common Sense Media
A Sick Day for Amos McGee Book Poster Image
2011 Caldecott winner celebrates caring for one another.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Parents who read this book to their little ones can talk about its message -- or just have fun examining the beautiful woodblock illustrations and talking about the different animals on the book's pages.

Positive Messages

Sweet message about the importance of taking care of others. Because Amos has spent so much time being a friend to the animals at the zoo, they are there for him when he needs them most.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Amos is very sweet to each of the animals at the zoo, whether he's playing chess with the elephant or just sitting by a shy penguin. When he needs care and comforting, the animals return his kindness.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that A Sick Day for Amos McGee, by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E Stead, won the 2011 Caldecott Medal for best picture book, and it's easy to see why. Woodblock illustrations in mostly soft colors -- and a bright red balloon -- draw readers into this gentle tale about the importance of kindness and taking care of others. Because Amos has spent so much time being a friend to the animals at the zoo, they are there for him when he needs them most. 

User Reviews

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  • Kids say

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Kid, 9 years old January 28, 2011

Luv it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I luv it because it is ok for younger kids than me.

What's the story?

When a kindly zoo keeper wakes up feeling sick, he must stay home. So, the animals he faithfully looks after decide to come to his house to take care of him -- and cheer him up.

Is it any good?

This is a beautiful book about kindness told through simple text and illustrations. Readers will certainly feel Amos's joy when his animal friends appear at his house, a penguin carrying a bright red balloon ("Hooray! My friends are here!"). 

Woodblock illustrations with mostly soft colors -- and a bright red balloon -- draw readers into this gentle tale. As families reread this book, kids will have fun noticing small details, such as the turtle caring a tea tray on its shell, or the elephant curled up with a teddy bear on the last page. And they'll have no trouble picking up on the book's sweet message about the importance of taking care of others.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about taking care of one another. What are some things that you like when you are sick -- playing games, having tea, snuggling? What are some things you can do for other family members when they're not feeling well?

  • Why do you think the animals decided to pay Amos a visit at his house? Were they just lonely -- or was it something else?

Book details

For kids who love picture books

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