When we visited Green Bean Books in Portland this summer (this is a great new store that manages to be homey and stylish and full of kid-pleasing nooks and wonders), they were prominently displaying the picture book A Sick Day for Amos McGee, whose illustrator Erin E. Stead won the won the 2011 Caldecott Medal, it was announced yesterday.
Green Bean owner Jennifer Green has been singing the book’s praises for months. Last month, she recommended it in a Portland Mercury year-end wrap-up. Here’s her blurb: “Every day, gentle zookeeper Amos McGee spends a little bit of time with each of his dear friends at the zoo, running races with the tortoise, playing chess with the elephant, keeping the shy penguin company, and even lending a handkerchief to the runny-nosed rhinoceros. When Amos falls sick one day, the animals take a bus to his home to take care of their friend just as he has always taken care of them. Sick Day is a charming tale of friendship, delicately illustrated with light pencil strokes atop colorful woodblock prints.”