Amos McGee, an elderly zookeeper, enjoys a clockwork life (one teaspoonful of sugar for oatmeal, two for tea and the number five bus to work) until the sniffles force him to stay in bed and miss his daily visits with animal friends. Fragile, gangly Amos, in striped pajamas and ill-fitting zoo uniform, appears as crushingly vulnerable as a child. Children will immediately like and understand him, as they too take comfort in reassuring routines—and would certainly love playing chess with an elephant or running races with a tortoise! Muted greens, browns and blues dominate pages, while brighter yellows and reds leaven the palette's mild melancholy. Erin E. Stead's beautifully wrought woodblock prints and pencil work create almost painfully expressive characters. Wrinkles and crinkles describe the elephant's sagging mass and the rhino's girth, as well as their keen sensitivity. Owl's furrowed brow communicates deep concern even as the group heads to Amos's home to check on him. This gentle, ultimately warm story acknowledges the care and reciprocity behind all good friendships: Much like Amos's watch, they must be wound regularly to remain true. (Picture book. 2-6) Read full book review >
Thank you! You’ll get the first email of recommendations from our critics within a week!
Bummer. There was a problem adding your email address. Please try again.
Subscribe to Pro Connect
Be the first to discover new talent!
Each week, our editors select the one author and one book they believe to be most worthy of your attention and highlight them in our Pro Connect email alert.
Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts.