Picture books about friendship are some of our favorites here at Happily Ever Elephants, especially when they shine a light on empathy and compassion like Philip Stead’s A Sick Day for Amos McGee. Keep reading to find out why this book is a must for your shelves!
There’s nothing quite as touching as having a friend bring you a thermos of steaming hot soup when you are sick– without having ever even asked. Having a friend reach out with such kindness when you are feeling at your lowest is one of the most selfless and generous acts imaginable. And having and maintaining positive friendships is one of life’s greatest treasures. True, genuine friendships are relationships we can only hope our children will experience. And though we can’t force friendships upon them, we can model positive relationships daily and offer them books depicting friendship and empathy at its finest. This is why I could read A SICK DAY FOR AMOS MCGEE to my boys every day. I am so in love with everything about this story, and it is one of the very best picture books about friendship..
A SICK DAY FOR AMOS MCGEE, the Caldecott winning book written by Philip Stead and illustrated by his wife, Erin, tells the story of Amos, a zookeeper, who spends time everyday with all of his animal friends at the zoo. Amos delights in being a friend to each of the animals, and when he wakes up one morning too sick to get to the zoo, his friends decide it may just be time to return the favor.
This book. It is a modern classic, hands down. It so beautifully portrays the beauty of friendship- understanding each others’ unique needs, caring for each other, and providing support in ways that only true friends can do. This is single-handedly one of the best books out there to teach little ones about empathy. There is no better tool to help them comprehend the value of identifying with another’s feelings and being able to channel that recognition into generous, helpful behaviors. Couple this message with Erin’s stunning block print illustrations, and you will quickly understand why this book is such a treasure to have, to hold and to love. This is a favorite in our home, and it’s one I believe belongs in every child’s collection. A true gem.
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Want the book? Get it here! A SICK DAY FOR AMOS MCGEE, by Philip Stead. *This is an affiliate link.
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