A Sick Day for
Amos McGee


by Philip Stead & Erin Stead

This charming book tells the story of an elderly zoo keeper who made time each day for his animal friends-- racing a tortoise, reading stories to an owl, spending time with a shy penguin...

Then when Amos is home sick, his animal friends return the favor, going to his home to cheer him up.



Amos is an adorable little guy and the attention he gives to his animal friends is tenderly portrayed. The result of his kindness--that his animal friends rushed to his side when he's sick--is a nice reminder to kids that they create caring friendships thru the way they treat others. Plus, it's lots of fun to see animals do human things like taking the bus, playing games...


Reading Levels for A Sick Day for Amos McGee

Interest Level: K-Gr. 2            DRA Level: 24                  Lexile Measure:  AD760L
Grade Equivalent: 3.0           Guided Reading: M  


Awards Won by this book

  • Caldecott Medal 2011
  • New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book
  • New York Public Library Best Children's Books List
  • Chicago Public Library Best Children's Books List 2011
  • Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book



See inside this book

The illustrations in this book were created via woodblock printing: laying the color down first with blocks, then using a pencil to add in detail afterward.  After reading this book, explain the technique. Kids find it fascinating.  In the first sample spread, the animals are waiting at the bus stop to take the bus to their sick friend's home.  So adorable!  


In the second sample spread , the animal friends arrive at sick Amos's house.


To learn more about this book, click the link below.  Please note that if you purchase an item from Amazon, they give us a small referral fee. (This helps pay for site hosting costs, thus allowing us to keep everything free for site visitors!)





Activity to go with A Sick Day for Amos McGee

After reading this book, why not have your students imagine:

      Who would you like to have visit you the next time you are home sick?

Encourage the kids to build on the silly premise of this book by being creative and having fun with this prompt.They could be visited by

  • a friendly dinosaur
  • Mrs. Santa Claus
  • the principal, etc

We also have the kids explain what activities they'd do together.

We've made a simple downloadable PDF page that you can use. To get the download, click the image above or here:  A Sick Day for Amos McGee activity


To learn more about this book, click the link below.  Please note that if you purchase an item from Amazon, they give us a small referral fee. (This helps pay for site hosting costs, thus allowing us to keep everything free for site visitors!)






If you like this book, check out other books by Phillip and Erin Stead!  We LOVE the Stead duo's sweet stories and illustration style!  To learn more about these books, click on the images or link above.


Or...check out our list of all the books that have won the Caldecott Award.