A Sick Day For Amos McGee

September 13, 2012

I just returned 6 children’s books to the library. Among them, my favorite,”A Sick Day for Amos McGee” by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by his wife, Erin E. Stead.

My children’s books

When I first got the books out I was surprised by my own excitement. I couldn’t wait to sit down, read the stories, look at the pictures, and let my mind imagine as it did when I was a child.

As I gathered all my books and curled into the corner of he couch, a glass of chocolate milk not far away, I felt giddy with anticipation!

My imagination was led from the zoo to the countryside, and from the ocean to a conversation between a pigeon and a chick about an oatmeal cookie.

All in one sitting.

My heart beat faster as I leafed through and wondered if the pigeon would actually get the cookie after all. And, if the little boy on the big blue boat would find his lost bear that his parents had replaced with a toaster.

I laughed as a shy little boy drew a monster who became so demanding he had to draw it a one way ticket out of town to make it leave. I grimaced at the thought of peas and tuna fish on toast and I commiserated with the squinty eyed boy who was waiting for spring.

I found myself smiling after I finished. I felt lighter. My mind imagining as I had when I was little. I felt full of big dreams and excitement. “Strange,” I thought. “All I did was read some children’s books.”

What I realized is we think so logically as adults. We think in terms of can and can’t, not of how and when. We don’t imagine or dream nearly enough.

Children’s books break all the rules. They use a story to teach a lesson. And the story can be about, well, anything you imagine. I mean, C.S. Lewis wrote about talking animals and traveling through a wardrobe to a land where kids became princes and queens in The Chronicles of Narnia! Talk about using his imagination.

We have been given our imaginations for a reason and too often they are tucked away to be replaced by reason and practicality.

We all had big dreams and vivid imaginations when we were little. I think we need to be reminded of those dreams and give our minds the opportunity to imagine again.

If you’ve never done it, go to the library and get out some children’s books. Perhaps your favorite books from when you were young, or maybe just certain ones that catch your eye.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.
~ Dr. Seuss

All successful people men and women are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose.
~ Brian Tracy

Question: Do you have a favorite children’s book? Tell me, I am going to take another trip to the library soon. 🙂


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  • Reply Char September 13, 2012 at 6:07 am

    I LOVE this post! So true. We don’t give ourselves the time and freedom to imagine and dream. I wonder how much our productivity would increase if we did this on a regular basis?? 

    • Reply Michael Good September 13, 2012 at 9:15 am

      Love this post too, Char. I too often push imagining aside for the for the “urgencies” of the day.

    • Reply Claudia Good September 13, 2012 at 10:42 pm

      Thanks Char! 
      Hmmmm, you have put forth a great question there. I bet a lot!!

  • Reply Ann Musico September 13, 2012 at 6:28 am

    Claudia – what an awesome thing to do!!  I honestly wouldn’t have thought to do that but I really want to go to the library now and find some children’s books to read!  I can see how doing that would free up your own imagination (not that yours needs that at all!). I’m definitely going to share that idea with clients in the future – I love it!

    This is a children’s book someone bought for me – and even though I never had it when my kids were small, it’s become a special favorite of mine.  It’s called “I’ll Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch.  I makes me cry every time I read through it!  It’s just beautiful.  

    • Reply Jody Berkey September 13, 2012 at 11:19 am

       Ann, “I’ll Love You Forever” makes me cry every time, too.  Great book.

    • Reply Claudia Good September 13, 2012 at 10:41 pm

      Hahaha… Ann, well, the little kid in me wants to come out almost daily 🙂 And I seriously love looking at the pictures! More adult books should have pictures!

      Oh, I was given that book when Jude was born. I now understand the mother’s feelings in that book. It is sweet!

  • Reply Donna Yates September 13, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Claudia-I have collected vintage children’s readers for several years.  I love the pictures and the simple stories.  It is sad that as we mature, we stop using our imagination as much as we should.  Glad you reminded us!

    • Reply Claudia Good September 13, 2012 at 10:39 pm

      I remember you saying that Donna. What a cool idea! Do you have a favorite?

      • Reply Donna Yates September 14, 2012 at 8:12 am

        Not necessarily one of the readers.  Although, I love the Dick and Jane stories/pictures.  When my children were little, they both loved a little book, “The Big Orange Splot” by D Marcus Pinkwater.  It’s about a man that accidentally gets a big orange splot of paint on his house and decides it’s good to be different.  They loved that book and wanted me to read it to them every night.  As my daughter got older, we read all the American Girl books.  I loved those as much as she did. 

        • Reply Claudia Good September 16, 2012 at 11:11 pm

          Oh cool Donna!
          I’ll have to check that one out. 

          I know my nieces LOVE the american girl doll books. They get them out in audiobook format now 😉 

  • Reply Jody Berkey September 13, 2012 at 11:45 am

    I love that Elijah is now at an age where he appreciates being read to and can interact and talk about the stories we read.  It’s been fun.  Our favorite book from yesterday is Chicks and Salsa.  My favorite book from childhood was “The Pokey Little Puppy.”

    • Reply Claudia Good September 13, 2012 at 10:39 pm

      I am excited to get to that age as well Jody! Ohhh, Chicks and Salsa sounds fun!! 🙂 AWWWW The Pokey Little Puppy!!! now that brings back some memories for me! Hee-he I used to love that one. Thanks for the reminder 😉

  • Reply Ryan Ash September 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Great post, Claudia! I think I need to read more kids books. I love that quote by Brian Tracy. We’ve been working on that exact thing.

    • Reply Claudia Good September 13, 2012 at 10:37 pm

      Thanks Ryan!
      I think you would enjoy it and I’m sure your little mini me would as well 😉

      Hope you and Ashley are well and dreaming many big dreams!

  • Reply Jenny Everett September 13, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Those Darn Squirrels! I read to my nieces over and over and over again! They couldnt get enough of it.  They especially liked when they got to read a dramatic line.  It was a good moment :0)

    • Reply Claudia Good September 13, 2012 at 10:36 pm

      hahaa! Jenny, I saw that one sitting around but I didn’t read it! I’ll get it out next time I go to the library. It sounds hilarious!

  • Reply Michael Wright September 15, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein stands out to me.  It’s both my wife’s and my favorite. Kind of deep for a kids book maybe, but read by kids a plenty.   We also enjoyed pretty much anything by Eric Carle, his artwork is unique.  Reading children’s book will lighten you up a bit – I was reading a book to a group of 4 yr olds last Sunday and it was awesome to read a page and ask questions and see their excitement.  Why do we have to lose that sense of awe?  Well, we don’t really have to.  Great post, Claudia.  Again, your writing draws me in to your experience perfectly.  I could actually smell the chocolate milk. 🙂

    P.S. “Rules of the Red Rubber Ball”, a little pocket sized book by Kevin Carroll is a similar encouragement to play.

    • Reply Claudia Good September 16, 2012 at 11:10 pm

      Oh cool!! Thanks for the recommendations! I just got back with another handful 2 days ago and can’t wait to dive in 😉

      Awe thanks for your compliment Michael!

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