Friday, January 7, 2011

A Sick Day for Amos McGee

A book I picked up for my daughter this Christmas is A Sick Day for Amos McGee by husband and wife team Philip and Erin Stead.  
The story is simple, charming and well written.  It is the story of the friendship between an older gentleman zookeeper - Amos McGee - and some of the animals at the zoo. Amos plays chess with the elephant, races the tortoise and reads bedtime stories to the owl - who is afraid of the dark.  But when Amos wakes up sick one morning we see the love the animals have for their zookeeper in return.  With language like "Belly full and ready for the workday, he'd amble out the door" the well written story is sure to be loved.

The illustrations match the text in simplicity and beauty.  I love the illustrations and their vintage feel.  Although the story was published in 2010 it feels like you are picking up an old copy of a well loved book.  The illustrations are done by hand and Erin uses pencils and woodblock printing techniques to create her illustrations.  The result is a mixture of black and white with splashes of color mixed in and images that really pop off the page.

I loved this simple story.  You can find the Steads on the web at - - on the front page of this website there are links to a blog by Philip and a website/blog for Erin as well.  And they live in Ann Arbor, Michigan . . . . one of my favorite cities.

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