Lisa Frase's Reviews > A Sick Day for Amos McGee

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead
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Jan 15, 11

bookshelves: picture-books
Read in January, 2011

As soon as I heard the announcement that A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead won the 2011 Caldecott Medal, I sent a student to the library to check out the book. First I read it aloud to my fourth graders. The book is primarily for younger children, but my nine and ten year old students still got a chuckle out of the book. We looked at the artwork and decided it had a bit of an old fashioned appeal, but that is precisely what makes it fresh today. The kids picked up on the black and white drawings (or woodblock printing according to the information on the flap)and the color added into the lines.

I've read the books several times now, studying text structure and word choice. Amos McGee is a zookeeper who visits his friends (the animals) each day. One day he becomes ill, and then the animals decide to visit Amos McGee. This is a circular story with two mirrored opposite halves. This book could be used by teachers to teach organization of a story.

The theme of the story is friendship. Amos visits his friends every day, and in turn, his friends visit him. I also noticed a wonderful use of verbs and a few sentences that make excellent models for mentor text for writing. Overall, the story is enjoyable and fun to read aloud to children.
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