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Amos & Boris

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  1,827 Ratings  ·  156 Reviews
Amos the mouse and Boris the whale: a devoted pair of friends with nothing at all in common, except good hearts and a willingness to help their fellow mammal. They meet after Amos sets out to sea in his homemade boat, the Rodent, and soon finds himself in extreme need of rescue. Enter Boris. But there will come a day, long after Boris has gone back to a life of whaling abo ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published September 1st 1992 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published January 1st 1971)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Roya
Sep 22, 2016 Roya rated it it was amazing
Shelves: quite-good
A book that has been read to me countless times, I can proudly state that I no longer cry whenever I read this. Nowadays I simply wish that we all had friends like Amos and Boris.
Ronyell
Amos and Boris

I have been reading William Steig’s works ever since I was little and now I have just recently read his most heartwarming book yet, “Amos and Boris.” “Amos and Boris” is a children’s book by William Steig which is about a small and adventurous mouse named Amos who finds a friend in a huge whale named Boris when Amos was lost at sea and Boris saves his life. “Amos and Boris” is truly a beautiful children’s book that will be an instant favorite among children for many years!

Oh my goodness! I have
...more
Kathryn
Nov 28, 2010 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! It's one of those that defies review, because I can't quite put into words what touched me so deeply about this. It's a tale of an unlikely friendship, between an adventuresome mouse and a whale who finds him when his little ship is wrecked. They learn from one another, and the friendship opens their eyes to things in the world they would never have noticed on their own. Others may not be so touched by the ineffable warmth and wisdom I felt in this tale, but for me it's a trea ...more
Lisa Vegan
Nov 30, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all kids; gifts for friends
Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn
Oh, I can’t believe this gem of a book has been available for nearly 40 years and I’m finding it (thanks to Goodreads’ friend Kathryn) only now. I just loved it.

This is the story of an adventurous mouse, and he gets into trouble on his ocean voyage and meets up with a whale. Amos the mouse and Boris the whale have a lovely friendship, including helping one another in each of their times of need. It’s a very sweet friendship story. Both mammals, one living on land and one living in the sea, each
...more
Tyler
Jun 20, 2007 Tyler rated it it was amazing
This is a really sweet little book from William Steig, one of the best authors of children's literature ever. His prose is full of little gems of language (my favorite is when he describes a beached whale as being "breaded with sand"); this is perhaps the only picture book to use the word "phosphorescent." His illustrations stick with a simple color palette made up mostly of blue, orange, and brown, nothing showy but tremendously effective, especially in some of the panoramic pictures. I don't e ...more
Jess
Sep 19, 2008 Jess rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jess by: Drew
Didn't know until later, though maybe I read too much into it, that this was an allegory for a friendship I had (the friend being the one who gifted me that book in the first place). Its about adventure and taking risks and finding friends. Its silly and lovely and still makes me a bit weepy at the end.
Negin
Sep 22, 2016 Negin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
One of our favorite books ever. I cried pretty much every time I read this to to my children. Beautiful story.
Jan
Feb 19, 2017 Jan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book with the 3rd grade class I worked with this week. It's short, but definitely gets its message of love, friendship, and loyalty across in those few pages. I'll admit the ending got me a bit verklempt (choked with emotion). Great story to read aloud to grades K-4, but hopefully if you do, you won't be as emotional as me when reading the ending!
Anna
Feb 20, 2017 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: preschool-lit
This is a nice story in and of itself, but it is so damn long that young children will be looking for something else to do about 1/3 of the way through.
Simon Joseph
Aug 30, 2011 Simon Joseph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
William Steig was enthusiastically recommended to me years ago by a relative, for my children, and we now have a number of his books. One of my favourites is Amos & Boris, where an industrious little mouse sets off on an intrepid voyage across the sea, with unexpected results.

The mouse (Amos) builds himself a boat, studies navigation, and then stocks it up with all kinds of useful provisions, including a compass, sextant, cheese, biscuits...and a needle and thread for mending torn sails! Ho
...more
Josiah
Apr 24, 2010 Josiah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What business do a whale and a mouse have becoming friends? None, some would say; yet Amos and Boris together somehow form one of the truly beautiful friendships in the recent history of literature. Their connection is one of symbiotic ponderance, in which they talk with each other about their mutually exclusive habitats and, linked together, see the majesty of the world around them through eyes that neither has on his own.

Amos, the mouse, meets Boris, the whale, under far less than ideal circ
...more
Dolly
Dec 01, 2010 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a wonderful tale of friendship and karma. The two friends, Amos and Boris, meet by chance and form a friendship for a lifetime, even though Amos must live on land and Boris must live in the ocean. Another chance encounter strengthens the bonds of their friendship.

I picked this out because of my Dad and I love the fact that the story is as old as I am.

We have enjoyed other stories by William Steig - we loved Sylvester and the Magic Pebble and read it over and over. We also really enjoye
...more
Jeremy
This was very good. I loved part where Amos is enchanted by the beauty and mystery of the world: "One night, in a phosphorescent sea, he marveled at the sight of some whales spouting luminous water; and later, lying on the deck of his boat gazing at the immense, starry sky, the tiny mouse Amos, a little speck of a living thing in the vast living universe, felt thoroughly akin to it all." Amos is "[o]verwhelmed by the beauty and mystery of everything."

At one point, Amos contemplates death and hea
...more
Amber
Oct 07, 2009 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think one of my favorite children's books ever. The adventurous rat's boat sinks while he's sailing the world--he's saved by a whale and they spend time together and make friends while the whale takes him to shore on his back. They have a sad goodbye, but a few years later, the whale washes up on shore and the rat has the opportunity to save the whale's life. A great story about unlikely friendship!
Sarah
Nov 13, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
This classic picture book details the friendship of Amos, the mouse, and Boris, the whale. Amos is sailing the great blue ocean when he falls overboard and is rescued by the giant friendly whale, Boris. During their journey back to Amos' home, they become good friends - finding much to admire and respect about each other. They part with Amos promising to help Boris someday, too.
Lesley Looper
This is one of the sweetest childen's stories ever! Two unlikely friends in Amos and Boris end up helping each other out, one in the ocean and the other on land. The story is really charming, and the illustrations are very cute. There's a nice lesson in this book for children, but it'll make adults smile too!
Shannon
Sep 20, 2011 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sweet re-imagining of The Lion and the Mouse, but including a story of friendship (I get the impression that although the Lion and Mouse helped each other out and respected each other, they weren't really close pals).
Anna
Another classic -- the relationship of two unlikely mammals- a mouse and a whale, filled with adult vocabulary and fabulous illustrations telling the age of tale of how friends can help each other, regardless of size or outward appearance.
Melissa Jackson
Jan 05, 2011 Melissa Jackson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just read this delightful book to my godson and may have been more entertained than he was. The language is beautiful and the story wonderfully unique and touching. We both adored it. Read this to your children, asap.
Beyond the Pages
This story was so beautifully done. I appreciated the simplicity and the artful word play. It was very moving.
Caitlin
Dangerous book to read out loud, I get teary eyed just thinking about it
Linda
In this older book, William Steig offers a lesson in kindness and friendship with little hope of reciprocation. We learn that animals (or people), this time a whale and a mouse, do what is helpful when it's needed. I love that Steig does not talk down to children in his stories. He uses the words needed to tell a story, this time "phosphorescence" and "luminous" are needed to describe a beautiful sea, and when Boris the whale was beached, he was not "covered", but "breaded" with sand. There's a ...more
Mark
Sep 14, 2016 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed reading this book to my 5 year old. It was a great story with an awesome message.
Diana
Mar 19, 2014 Diana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a tale of an unlikely friendship between a whale and a mouse. One day, the mouse fulfilled his dream of sailing the ocean. He built a ship and sailed the sea, only to fall into the ocean and lose his ship. Boris, the whale, helps him get home by letting him stay on his back during the trip. Amos the mouse and Boris the whale became fast friends and told each other about themselves. Boris delivered his friend to the shore of his home and went on his way. Then, a hurricane washed Bori ...more
Jenna
Aug 29, 2015 Jenna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
If you just finished reading Benji Davies's The Storm Whale and are looking for another fine picture book about whales, beached and otherwise, you should check out this 1971 Steig classic if you haven't already. Whereas Davies's picture book might be accused of containing too few words, Steig's book errs in the opposite direction, often bordering on the wordy, but this tale of the friendship between a mouse who wants to be a sailor and the stolid amiable whale he meets while at sea -- likely ins ...more
Sue Pak
I absolutely love this book. The moment I read this, I thought it was a sad book; however, I knew that I had to buy this book. It is such a good read.

This book can be used for a VARIETY of purposes.
It is great to talk about what animals need to survive. Food chain, force (push and pull), weather--hurricanes, classification of animals, survival/extinction. It also briefly mentions how the mouse can swim about a mile, but to swim a thousand miles would be difficult to do so. So this book could b
...more
Kelsey Connolly
Amos and Boris - William Steig
Choice - Animal Character Narrative

Response - Amos and Boris, by William Steig, is an artfully written and beautifully illustrated story of an unlikely friendship between a mouse and a whale, and how they can use their differences to help each other. The descriptive language and use of alliteration makes Amos and Boris an excellent storybook to use as an example in a creative writing setting. The personification, figurative language, and natural rise-and-fall of th
...more
Danarose
Amos the mouse and Boris the whale become friends after Boris rescues Amos from the sea. After they said good bye it would be years before they saw each other again. When a hurricane hits, Amos has the opportunity to rescue Boris and repay the good deed.

Amos and Boris is a great story about friendship. Although the two animals live in entirely different worlds, they help each other when they are in need, a sign of true friendship. This book has a lot of really fancy vocabulary words that will ei
...more
Courtney Gregory
Amos and Boris is written by William Steig. This story is about a little mouse who lives by the ocean and is eager to find out what lies beyond the ocean and who lives in it. One day the mouse sets sail on his hand made boat, but is separated from his vessel in the middle of a storm. Just as the mouse thinks it is all over, he makes an unexpected friend, a whale. The whale agrees to be his new vessel and take him to land. Once they reach land, the mouse tells the whale that he will help him out ...more
Allison
Apr 05, 2012 Allison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: text-set
Amos the mouse builds a ship that he takes out to sea. When he is struggling to stay afloat after a storm wrecks his ship, Amos meets Boris the whale. The two discover that they are both mammals and Boris promises to take Amos back to his home shore. Safely home, Amos tells Boris he will return the favor and help his new friend someday, but both wonder how a little mouse could possibly help such a big whale. After some time, a storm leaves Boris struggling to get back to sea on the same shore wh ...more
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William Steig was born in New York City in 1907. In a family where every member was involved in the arts, it was not surprising that Steig became an artist.

He published his first children's book, Roland the Minstrel Pig, in 1968, embarking on a new and very different career.

Steig's books reflect his conviction that children want the security of a devoted family and friends. When Sylvester, Farmer
...more
More about William Steig...

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