“A Sick Day for Amos McGee” by Philip C. Stead Amos is the animals’ favorite zookeeper. He always makes sure to spend some special time with each of his animal friends. But, one morning Amos wakes up with a nasty cold and must take the day off. Worried for their missing caretaker, the animals set out to check up on poor ailing Amos and end up as his caretakers for a change. This is such a sweet simple little book and the Caldecott Award winning illustrations are absolutely lovely. In fact, there are a few wordless pages as the animals travel to Amos’ home that a bunch of the kids went gaga over. They kept falling over themselves trying to guess what the escapees were up to. I think those pages (or any wordless picture book, really) would be a great exercise in inference skills. Overall however, this book is just a sweet story of empathy and friends returning the kindness of others.
“Bear Feels Sick” by Karma Wilson If you’ve read Karma Wilson’s previous book about this bear (“Bear Snores On” Available now. Check it out), you know that this bear can sleep through anything! Today, though, he’d give anything to get some sleep! Bear has got one heck of a cold and it’s up to his friends to nurse him back to health. But, because no good deed goes unpunished they soon come down with the same cold. Now who will take care of them? Short rhyming phrases which (nearly) always end with “Bear feels sick” really worked to engage the kids, to the point that when they just began joining in with me as I’d read it. Totally unprompted. Totally adorable. “Maisy Goes to the Hospital” by Lucy Cousins When you get sick you should always go see a doctor. But doctors can help you with other problems too. After jumping too high on a trampoline, Maisy falls and hurts her leg. So, she and her friend take a taxi (Maisy doesn’t seem to have a ton of parental supervision) to the nearest hospital. Follow Maisy as she meets her doctor and nurse, learns what’s wrong with her leg and how to fix it. Little kids. Love. Maisy. Actually, I should say kids love Lucy Cousins. I don’t know how she does it but I’ve never gone wrong with one of her books. Her Maisy books have very clear purpose. There aren’t any subtle themes or messages that kids will grow up to understand on a different level blah blah blah. These are books aimed specifically at young children that introduce them to everyday places and events and I think that really appeals to them. Basically, Maisy’s a winner. Songs and Fingerplays To start off Explorastory we listened to the poem “Sick” by Shel Silverstein from his classic book, “Where the Sidewalk Ends”. For our fingerplay we sang an original piece by Lee Road’s very own Mr. Fries called The Sick Song. Finally, we took a much needed dance break with the tune “Clap Your Hands” by one of my favorite bands, They Might Be Giants. Crafts Last but not least… we crafted. In honor of Maisy’s trip to the hospital, we made our very own x-rays out of Q-tips and photocopied images of yours truly’s hand. Check ’em out!Literally breaking my hand.