ML Was Sick – It Started With Sneezing

Chu'sDayAmosMcGee

Last week, ML missed 4 days of school.  One for sickness and the others as a result of Winter Storm Pax.  Saturday, she started sneezing.  I thought it was because our house was a little dusty.  Sunday night it became apparent she was sick.  She coughed the whole night.

The next morning when I told her she couldn’t go to school, she cried.  It was both the 100th day of school and Crazy Hat Day.  The previous afternoon, ML carefully put together her attire… a big, red, old-lady hat and a pink and white polka dotted umbrella to use as a cane.  She begged to go. I knew they would call me to pick her up as soon as I arrived at work.  So we stayed home.  Below are two books to enjoy when you’re sick.  One to make you laugh.  One to make you feel warm and loved.

In Chu’s Day by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Adam Rex, his parents are always asking, “Are you going to sneeze?”  There’s a good reason.  Chu has a very big sneeze.  Sorry, no more details.  I don’t want to spoil the fun. The pacing and illustrations make it a perfect read-aloud.  Starting next book club, I’ll  read a picture book at the beginning.  Chu’s Day is first on the list.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee written by Philip Stead and illustrated by Erin Stead received the 2011 Caldecott Medal.  The illustrations using woodblock printing and pencil are subtle, yet rich.  Visual elements not discussed in the story add extra enjoyment.  Look for the bird, mouse, teddy bear and red balloon.  Each a story within the story.

It is one of  the sweetest stories, we’ve read.  Not saccharine… a story of genuine love and respect for each other.  Amos is a zookeeper.  He’s dependable and a good friend to all the animals in the zoo… playing chess with elephant, running races with tortoise , sitting quietly with penguin, lending a handkerchief to rhinoceros, reading stories to owl.    He knows the needs of each animal.  One day, Amos isn’t at work.  The animals wait for the number 5 bus.  Upon arriving at Amos’ home, they find he is in bed sniffling and sneezing.  Each animal takes care of Amos in their own special way.  Knowing this book’s created by a husband and wife team adds to it’s loveliness.

Coming June 2014, another Chu book – Chu’s First Day of School by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Adam Rex.  I hope the Steads are in the process of collaborating on another book.

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