Timeless classic would be an apt description for “A Sick Day for Amos McGee”, a wonderfully appealing children’s book published by Roaring Brook Press. The creative team of writer Phillip C. Stead and illustrator Erin E. Stead breathe life into the world of Amos McGee, an elderly zookeeper who benevolently provides empathy and understanding to his special friends at the zoo each and every day.
How’s the Story?
The loving attention to detail given to both story and artwork jumps out from every page into the readers heart. “A Sick Day for Amos McGee” provides many lessons for children such as selfless acts of kindness, empathy for others, friendship, acceptance and joy. Amos, as well as his friends, the animals, are all drawn with an emotional depth. You care about each of them and their frailties. One can identify the sentiment evoked by their expressive countenance in the illustrations.
The first half of the book traces the daily routine of the endearing Amos. We discover his modest home, a small blue house sandwiched between buildings as though time has stood still for Amos. We then follow him on his morning commute as he takes the city bus to the Zoo. Upon his arrival there are hints that the Zoo is far from ordinary. We then are privileged to witness the poignant interaction between Amos and his 5 special animal friends.
The second half of the story mirrors Amos McGee’s commute to the Zoo but in reverse. Since Amos is sick, his animal friends travel from the Zoo to see their friend Amos at his home. It’s their turn to take care of a dear friend. Many touching scenes follow adding to the joy and wonder of this modern classic.
Overall Rating: A+
Recommended for age ranges 4 to 7.
Pros: Expressively detailed story and art work. Invaluable lessons about empathy, sharing, friendship and more. An extraordinary addition to Children’s literature that will remain heralded for years to come.
Cons: None. Great book.
For more information about this book and other books published by Roaring Books Press, please visit them online.
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