A Sick Day for Amos McGee

Image source. More about the book here.

Amos McGee was an early riser. Every morning when the alarm clock clanged, he swung his legs out of bed and swapped his pajamas for a fresh-pressed uniform.

Well, I’m a sucker for elephants. Especially on a rainy, sleepy Sunday. So this book, A Sick Day For Amos McGee is just as nourishing this morning as my hot cup of coffee. And it’s especially nice in the quiet of the day, which lasts another hour or so before football starts. Truth.

This book won the 2010 Caldecott Medal, and the illustrations are so touching and tender. They are the flawless accompaniment to the words. Or are the words the flawless accompaniment to the pictures? Hard to tell, because the harmony here is pitch perfect. Amos McGee is a quiet man of routine, which I definitely appreciate. {I think I leave the house in the morning within the same 45 second span each day. And I’ve eaten the same breakfast every day for years. Just not oatmeal like Amos. Gross.} Each day, without fail, he makes his way to the zoo to tend to his dear friends, each quirkier than the next. The rhinoceros with the terrible allergies? The owl afraid of the dark? Yes, please. The day Amos doesn’t show up at the zoo, the animals journey out to take care of their keeper.


Because this is such a quiet book, Erin Stead tells the story in very gentle and muted tones. Pale grays, blues, and yellows are far more appropriate and mood-setting than harshly saturated colors. The calming color palette is exactly matches the tone of the story. The animals and the friendships are larger than life, but the hushed rhythm of the story is serene and intimate. All of this is impressed upon the reader through the color palette.

{Want more? Check out this video of Erin Stead talking about her process of woodblock printing in A Sick Day For Amos McGee. If it’s possible to love this book any more, I did after watching her video. Probably because her glasses are so cool, but still.}


  • Posted September 25, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    I am loving your blog more and more with each passing day. What a fun book. I haven’t read it yet, but I think I would like to. The elephant is TOO CUTE!

  • Posted September 25, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Abby! So sweet, thank you!

  • Posted September 26, 2011 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    That book looks so sweet!

    You have done an awesome job with your blog–the content and layout is just fabulous! I love how easy it is to read…it makes my eyes happy. šŸ˜‰

  • Posted September 26, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Carla! That means a lot:)

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