Amos McGee loves visiting his friends at the zoo while he works. But one day the zookeeper wakes up sick and his friends the elephant, the tortoise, the penguin, the rhinoceros, and the owl decide to visit him instead.
The Stead’s work brings you a wonderful story with a great friendship, splendid pacing, cute animals, and the charming Amos McGee all rolled into one. With Philip C. Stead’s wonderfully written work and Erin E. Stead’s beautifully illustrated woodblock printings and pencil, you have a timeless work of art here.
Now I’m going to be steering a bit from my usual review formula because it is the month of STORYSTORM. These are the books I love and cherish.
I would like to start off with looking at the great characters, the main character being an elderly man instead of a child and IT WORKS. There are tons of children’s books out there that have animal and child characters that work but not many with an elderly old man who is sick for a day. During the thousand times I’ve heard or read that I need only children and animals (that’s it!!!) in my illustration portfolio, I always think back to Amos McGee and remember there are exceptions.
Aside from great characters (hey the animals are great too) the pacing is wonderful. I’m talking mainly about the images below…
Only nine words here and that is eight pages worth of story and it is the best thing these creators could have done. Sometimes when there is a turning point in a story, the best thing is to allow the illustrations take control to set the mood. Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen, also does something similar with their turing point. I will show that later.
And to wrap up, the Steads’ work really is a timeless story. Most people who do read pictures books (teachers, parents, kids, book lovers, creators…) have read this book. And if you haven’t and you are interested in writing and/or illustrating picture books I highly recommend it.
The good list:
- GREAT bedtime story
- Short, sweet, to the point
- Illustrations are marvelous
- Good story time material as well I would think
- Lovable characters
- Pacing is good enough for taking notes on a way to pace a story
- The story is simply about a good friendship.
That’s it for today! Hopefully these images remind or inspire anyone who is reading this and is doing the STORYSTORM challenge. They most certainly inspire me!