Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day 51: A Sick Day for Amos McGee

Philip and Erin Stead have created a beautiful masterpiece in A Sick Day for Amos McGee.  We adore this story about a sweet old zookeeper and his beloved animals and love the fabulous illustrations even more.  Amos McGee is the city zookeeper.  He gets up every morning, puts on a fresh pressed uniform, and rides the number five bus to the zoo.  Although he has a lot to do when he gets there, he always makes time to visit his good friends.  He plays chess with the elephant, runs races with the tortoise (who always wins), sits quietly with the shy penguin, lends a handkerchief to the sniffly rhinoceros, and reads stories to the owl (who is afraid of the dark) at sunset.  Then he returns home to rest before another busy day ahead.  When Amos wakes up sick one day and is unable to go to work, he receives a pleasant surprise:  his animal friends come to return the favor and take care of him!  It's a wonderful tale of friendship that has some of the most expressive and unique illustrations I have seen.  In fact, when I went to save the image from Barnes and Noble's website, I saw that it was the 2011 Caldecott winner -- deservedly so!  A big congratulations to artist Erin Stead, whose woodblock print and pencil drawings are simply incredible and tell the story in and of themselves; a sign of a truly great picture book, in my opinion.  In fact, my favorite pages are the only two in the book that have no words at all, with the animals waiting for and then riding on the city bus.  If you haven't yet discovered this wonderful story, look for it the next time you go to the library.  It is bound to be a classic in our house.


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