A SickDay for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead
Illustrated by Erin E. Stead
Publisher: A Neal Porter Book (Roaring Brook Press)
Word Count: 450 (estimate)
Amos McGee, a kindhearted zookeeper, had a routine that he followed every day when he went to his job at the zoo. His morning routine over the first three spreads lets us know that Stead wants us to know Amos and how his day unfolds.
As Amos arrives at the zoo, he first makes time to visit his friends. Each page lets us see the kind of friend Amos is to the animals, as well as his dedication to them. These pages help us to learn more about the character Amos. (This is also a wonderful book for character and theme.)
But then...Amos is sick, and he doesn't go to work. The animals wait for Amos by preparing for the activity that he fulfilled with each one. This is done, however, on one page. This pacing shows the animals anticipation of their friend's arrival.
The animals decide that they are going to find out where there friend is. They follow the same route to go to Amos's house as Amos uses to get to the zoo. This takes several spreads in order to heighten the reader's curiosity.
They make it to their friend's house. Amos cannot accomplish all the activities that he usually does at the zoo, but each animal has their turn with him just as they do at the zoo (circular story). Each animal receives page of their own - again to demonstrate the friendship and devotion they have with one and other.
This beautiful story ends with a bedtime story, saying goodnight, and...
a restful night's sleep.
I hope this will help as you think about pacing your story!