A Sick Day for Amos McGee

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A Sick Day for Amos McGee
A Sick Day for Amos McGee.jpg
Author Philip C. Stead
Illustrator Erin E. Stead
Language English
Published May 25, 2010 Roaring Brook Press
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 32
ISBN 978-1-59643-402-8
OCLC 466344397

A Sick Day for Amos McGee is a children's picture book written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead. The book was published in 2010 by Roaring Brook Press and depicts a loving relationship between a man and his friends, who happen to be animals. It shares a simple message that portraying kindness and thoughtfulness to others, and all species,is very important in our society. Erin Stead won the 2011 Caldecott Medal for her illustrations in the book.[1] It also received the Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2010 award from the New York Times [2]


Amos McGee is a punctual man who goes about his day the same way every day. He swings his legs out of bed, puts on a fresh uniform and hops on the #5 bus at 6:00am to go to the zoo. While at the City Zoo, Amos always makes time to visit his good friends and always gives them exactly what they need. He follows a reliable agenda of activities with each of his favorite animals: the elephant, the tortoise, the penguin, the rhinoceros and the owl. Amos sits quietly with the shy penguin and at sunset, reads stories to the owl who is afraid of the dark. One day; however, Amos woke up with a terrible cold. He swung his legs out of bed, curled them back again and decided that he would not make it to work. Because Amos is a reliable friend, his dear friends started to wonder where he was. They were getting worried, so the animals left the zoo and hopped onto the #5 bus. To comfort Amos, each animal stretches beyond his or her fears to help a friend recover.[3] After his friends help him recover, they all go to bed as they have a morning bus to catch that brings them back to the zoo.


  • Amos McGee: He is a kind-hearted and reliable friend who has a gentle soul. Amos is the protagonist in the story and he plays the role of the zookeeper. He always gives each of his friends exactly what they need by turning it into a fun task.
  • Elephant: The elephant is the first animal that is introduced in the story. He or she plays chess with Amos, which depicts the elephant as intelligent. The character thinks long and hard before making a move in their game of chess, which also makes the elephant strategic.
  • Tortoise: The tortoise is the second animal that is introduced in the story and he or she runs races against Amos, which the tortoise never loses.
  • Penguin: The penguin is depicted as a very shy animal in the story. Amos sits quietly with him or her, which allows the penguin to become comfortable and open.
  • Rhinoceros: The rhinoceros is a ginormous animal who always has a runny nose in the story. Luckily for him or her, Amos is always prepared to lend a handkerchief.
  • Owl: The owl is the last character introduced in the story and unfortunately he is afraid of the dark. Every night Amos reads the owl a bedtime story to help him or her overcome his or her fear.
A Sick Day for Amos McGee
Erin and Philip Stead.jpg
Erin Stead and Philip Stead
Occupation Illustrator and Author
Nationality American
Genre Children's picture books
Notable works
  • A Sick Day for Amos McGee
  • Bear Has a Story to Tell
Notable awards Caldecott Medal

Philip C. Stead[edit]

Philip C. Stead is an American author who wrote A Sick Day for Amos McGee. His book, which was illustrated by his wife Erin, was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2010 and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2010. His other works include Hello, My Name is Ruby, Bear Has a Story to Tell, A Home for Bird, Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat and Creamed Tuna Fish and Peas On Toast.[4]

Erin E. Stead[edit]

Erin E. Stead is an American illustrator of children's books who was born on December 27, 1982. She and her husband Philip C. Stead collaborated to write and illustrate A Sick Day for Amos McGee. Erin won the 2011 Caldecott Medal for her illustrations in this book.[5] Erin has said she has always believed in picture books and she has never grown out of them.[6] She has also illustrated And Then it's Spring, If You Want to See a Whale', and Bear Has a Story to Tell.[7]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "2011 ALSC Award Winners". Association for Library Service to Children. Archived from the original on January 12, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2011. 
  2. ^ New York Times Award https://www.nytimes.com/gift-guide/holiday-2010/best-illustrated-childrens-books-2010/slide-show.html?page=8
  3. ^ Beyond Fears http://www.ncte.org/journals/la/issues/v88-1%7Caccessdate=23 October 2013
  4. ^ "Library of Congress Online Catalog". Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "Association for Library Servie to Children". Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  6. ^ Stead, Erin E. (1 June 2011). "Caldecott Medal Acceptance Speech: An Old Man, an Elephant, and a Lack of Confidence". Association for Library Service to Children: 9–11, 51. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  7. ^ "Library of Congress Catalog Record". Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
Preceded by
The Lion & the Mouse
Caldecott Medal recipient
Succeeded by
A Ball for Daisy