Amos McGee and His Zoo Friends are Back In a New Heartwarming Tale

'Amos McGee Misses the Bus' is a worthy follow up to Caldecott Winner 'A Sick Day for Amos McGee'

By Kara Murphy December 7, 2021

You know those books you and your kids gravitate to night after night to read before bed? The books both you and your kids can recite by heart? The books that make you smile when you come across them on the bookshelf and you slide back into place, even as other books make their way to the donation pile?

For my family, A Sick Day for Amos McGee is one of those treasured books. It was one my kids requested over and over ... and one I certainly didn't mind reading.

I loved the heartwarming, Caldecott Medal-winning story from Philip C. Stead about Amos McGee, the wonderful zookeeper whose kindness toward his animal friends — running races with the tortoise, keeping the shy penguin company, and even reading bedtime stories to the owl — is repaid on a day when Amos is too sick to make it to the zoo. It's that day that the animal friends decide to visit Amos at his home, to entertain him for a change.

The imaginative illustrations by Erin E. Stead, showing Amos McGee and his zoo friends in unlikely scenarios — like playing cards on the living room floor with an elephant and penguin — are funny and sweet at the same time. My kids also loved finding the red balloon and the tiny mouse that popped up here and there throughout the pages.

A new story that shows how kindness can help you find the way

So I was thrilled to hear that 10 years after publishing A Sick Day for Amos McGee, Philip and Erin Stead are releasing a second book featuring Amos and his friends. The new book is called Amos McGee Misses the Bus and is available now online and in your favorite bookstores. 

Amos McGee Misses the Bus is just as imaginative as the original, and stays true to its heartwarming roots: 

Amos McGee is always considerate and always on time. But after a late night planning a surprise for all his friends, Amos is tired. So tired, in fact, that he falls asleep during breakfast and misses his bus to the zoo! Now he knows he won't have time for the surprise he planned for his friends. Unless... perhaps his friends can step in and help him out. And they do, with heartwarming effect, showing young readers that even when your day is amiss, kindness can help you find the way.

Amos McGee Misses the Bus, which was just released by MacMillan Publishing on Nov. 23, is certain to make a great holiday gift for the youngsters in your life. And if they don't have A Sick Day for Amos McGee in their home library yet? I highly suggest buying that one too. Both are certain to be classics that both children  — and the adults who read to them — will love and cherish for years to come.