Thursday, February 21, 2013

Story Element #5: Theme (A Sick Day for Amos McGee)

Today's book is...
A Sick Day for Amos McGee

Author: Philip C. Stead
Illustrator: Erin E. Stead
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Year: 2010
Word Count: 441

Summary: Every day, Amos spends time with each of his friends at the zoo, running races with the tortoise, keeping the shy penguin company, and reading bedtime stories to the owl. But when Amos is too sick to make it to the zoo, his friends return the favor.

This book is so sweet. So sweet, or good, that it won an award! And a husband/wife team at that. I had heard so many wonderful things about this book. I was SO excited when I found it in my own library! When I read this book to my children, my 8-year-old son said, "Awww. That's such a nice story about friendship." Ding, ding, ding! He GOT it! The THEME is: friendship! So what can I share today to bring it to life for you so you can learn more about theme? Hmmm...

Perhaps I can summarize the important parts that help enlighten us as to what the theme is.

"Every day Amos waited" for the bus. Every day it came "right on time." "Amos had a lot to do at the zoo, but he always made time to visit his good friends."

He played chess with the elephant, raced with the tortoise, sat with penguin, lent a hanky to the rhino, and read stories to the owl.

But one day, Amos got sick and stayed home. The animals waited for him. (several pages with no text makes this moment more poignant). 

Then they arrive at Amos's house! The the animals do things with Amos to help him feel better. It is SO sweet! Just makes you feel GOOD.

Google "A Sick Day for Amos McGee" in IMAGES. About 16 different pictures pop up. Probably half the pictures in the book. Print out a page or two of the Google image results and try to invent your own text for the pictures. Try to put it in order. Then get a copy of the book and see how close you come. FUN!

Which zoo animal do you picture being your best friend? 

I picture long talks and long walks with the ZEBRAS. Keep on keepin' on...


  1. Thanks for telling me about this book. It really looks wonderful and a great example of theme.


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