A Sick Day for Amos McGee

A story about how friends care for each other

A Sick Day for Amos McGee
By Philip C. Stead, Illustrated by Erin E. Stead

This is such a sweet story (and a Caldecott-winner to boot!) about a kind zookeeper whose animal friends pay him a visit when he is home sick.

Amos McGee goes to work at the zoo each morning in the same, unhurried, unassuming way. While he is at the zoo, he visits the animals, and sweetly interacts with each one in a different, personal way. One day, he wakes up with a horrible cold, and the animals at the zoo decide to hop on a bus and cheer him up at his house.

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Parents/Guardians: As you read this book with your child, try asking the following questions:

  • How does Amos show the animals that he cares about them?
  • What did the animals do to help Amos feel better?
  • What are some ways that you can show your friends you care?

You can also have a Kindness Week and choose a different act of kindness for each day with your child. There are a ton of ideas online (just search “random acts of kindness”) or try some of my favorites:

  • Bake cookies for the local fire station.
  • Collect cans of food for a food bank.
  • Invite someone new to play with you.
  • Donate books or toys to a children’s hospital or shelter (check with the center first, as some, especially hospitals, have strict requirements for what can and can’t be donated)

Teachers: You can use this book as a mentor text or read-aloud in any of these units:

  • Friendship
  • Kindness/Empathy
  • Using Picture Clues

Click on the Downloadable Teacher Guide below for a full lesson plan, which includes discussion questions and Common Core Standards for grades K, 1, and 2.

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