Archive for the ‘Bikur Holim/Visiting the Sick’ Category


Is it just me or does anyone else see a strange similarity between the 2011 Caldecott award winning book, A Sick Day for Amos McGee, illustrated by Erin E. Stead, written by Philip C. Stead, © 2010 Roaring Brook Press,  and a 2007 MasterCard commercial entitled “Priceless Elephant“?  Granted, I am probably the only person on the planet who even remembers this commercial due to my predisposition to love anything zoo related. However, when I saw A Sick Day for Amos McGee my first thoughts were of this commercial.  I wonder if the Stead’s ever saw it.

Please, don’t get me wrong, I adore A Sick Day for Amos McGee and am very happy that it won the Caldecott Medal. From forwordsbooks perspective, this is a wonderful book to teach about Bikur Holim/Visiting the Sick. The zookeeper, Amos McGee, spends his days making sure each of his charges is cared for properly – playing chess with the elephant, wiping the rhinoceros’ nose, reading to the dark-fearing owl and so on. One morning Amos wakes up ill. When he does not show up for work, his animal friends come to him and play chess, read and so on.

The story is simple and charming with illustrations that are absolutely divine works of art. Gallery material made using woodblock print and pencil techniques.  Moreover, it is a book about a zookeeper and his relationship with the zoo’s inhabitants. This could have been my life, had I made other choices in my early days.

Coincidence or not, whether the Stead’s saw a commercial some years ago and expanded on the idea in this wonderful and creative manner or great minds were thinking alike, it hardly seems to matter. We are blessed with a marvelous, award-winning book with a values-based topic that children will love.

Happy Reading,

Kathy B.

©2011 Kathleen M. Bloomfield and all rights reserved.
Books used in this review were provided by my local public library.
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