This Caldecott Award winning picture book was written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin Stead. The book follows zookeeper Amos McGee, and elderly gentleman who takes care of the animals at the zoo. Each day Amos spends time playing with his friends. He plays chess with the elephant, keeps the penguin company, and tells stories to the owl, among other things. One day, Amos is too sick to go to work, and the animals miss having their best friend. They decide to leave the zoo and pay Amos a visit to make him feel better, and spend the day keeping Amos company with all of their favorite activities.
The combination of Philip Stead’s text and Erin Stead’s beautiful illustrations makes this book completely deserving of its Caldecott honor. The story is sweet, simple, and imaginative. The illustrations are soft and expressive. I loved the use of woodblock prints and pencil to create beautifully crafted images. The woodblocks allow for soft pops of bright colors and the pencil work creates fine detail.
After reading this book in the library, I immediately went out and purchased a copy. A Sick Day for Amos McGee is perfect for all ages, and is a must-have for any bookshelf!
– Madeline Santulli