Blogger Amy Steinbauer

Book List: Books About Being Sick

Llama Llama Home with Mama book cover

Six weeks ago, I was in a bad car accident. I was driving along, minding my business and probably singing a song, and then a tractor-trailer lost control and veered into my lane. After almost a year of being extra vigilant with my health and safety to protect myself and others against COVID, I was suddenly thrust into a hospital and a painful recovery. Despite the scary accident and loss of two cars (my partner was in the car behind me), we are okay, healing, and happy to have each other still. That being said, sickness is on my brain! Since this is a common question for both caregivers, teachers, and parents– below is a list of my favorite sick picture books. (Don’t worry, I am okay!)

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead (2010)

Amos McGee lives a simple life. He gets up, gets dressed, makes his breakfast, and goes off to work at the zoo. When he doesn’t show up one day, his animal friends go out to look for him and find him unwell. This book is probably one of the most common books to be checked out for both books on sickness and as it is a Caldecott award-winning book with sketches and sparse colors that paint an enchanting world.

Bark, George by Jules Feiffer (1999)

George is one sick dog. He has lost his bark! Instead of barking, he makes a “Meow” sound. His mom takes him to the doctor, and the doctor makes a surprising discovery about George. I love reading this book in story time, there are so many fun actions of pulling and making animal sounds. As an adult, I have lots of questions for George and the doctor. George’s diet seems to be that of children’s book magic where your stomach is a literal place that things can hide out in and stay alive in. Also, the doctor is a true replica of a 90s stereotype with frizzled hair, and obviously a white male, but aside from that, the story is fun!

How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon by Jane Yolen (2003)

Maybe it’s cheesy to include one of these books, but I do love them! How do dinosaurs do anything is a question that we all want to know! I hope Jane Yolen is at home writing, “How Do Dinosaurs Beat COVID?” I love these books for their rhymes and silliness. Another fun read-aloud for story time and a good recommendation if a caregiver hasn’t heard of this series. I like that there is a pretty good representation of other ethnicities and has a mix of genders as doctors.

Bear Feels Sick by Karma Wilson (2012)

Bear feels sick! He is sniffly and achy and unwell. His friends go out and try to cheer him up and make him feel better. Eventually, through their kindness and cheer, he starts to feel better, but then all his friends get sick! Karma Wilson wins with just about any bear book! While, I don’t generally read these books at story times since they are a bit long for toddler audiences, they are beloved by parents and teachers! They have a soft rhyme that moves the story along, but doesn’t end up as a sing songy type of rhyme.

Chu’s Day at the Beach by Neil Gaiman (2015)

Chu is a panda with an allergy problem. And when he sneezes he causes major damage. There are a few books in this series about Chu’s adventures with his allergies, but this one is my favorite. I love seeing the world under the water as Chu sneezes and makes the water part. There are MerPandas under the water! This book is fun to read to an engaging crowd that “gets” the interactive part of story time. It’s a hoot to read the Ah Ah AH parts of the book together, and then eventually a big CHUUUUUUU!

Boo Hoo Bird by Jeffrey Tankard (2009)

Of all the books mentioned in this post, I think I most relate to the Boo Hoo Bird with my injuries! I have felt lots of “Boo Hoos” over the last few weeks. Just like Bird, my friends have also sent me lots of good cheer, treats, and emotional support to help me recover. Hopefully just like Bird eventually is “All Better Now!”, I will be the same soon, too!

Llama Llama Home with Mama by Anna Dewndey (2003)

I love the Llama Llama books. They are easy and delightful to read since the rhyming almost makes every book into a song. When Llama is sick and sniffly, they must stay home from school. Mama takes care of Llama, but soon needs some taking care of too! Parents and caregivers love these books, and it’s for a good reason. The pictures are bright, the words are engaging, and Llama usually deals with the range of emotions that toddlers to early elementary friends that are easy for all to relate to.

What books am I missing? Most of my choices are from books that are a few years old, please let me know if there are some cool new books that I missed!

One comment

  1. Jan Harrod

    Sick Simon by Dan Krall is a great preschool grossfest about germs and bacteria. Stresses the importance of washing hands, using a tissue, resting when you’re sick. Fun read aloud for 4’s and 5’s.

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