Bookworms: Children's Books for Sick Days

I know we’re not the only ones dealing with cabin fever and a stomach virus that just won’t quit. This winter has been straight up brutal. When Ellie was down with that stomach bug for what felt like forever, it got me thinking about sick day books for kids. When the little guys are feeling crummy, it can sometimes be comforting to read stories about characters in similar situations.

So the girls and I put our heads together (ok, so it was mostly me and Samantha) and came up with a list of our five favorite children’s books for sick days. Samantha even went through and picked out her favorite page of each book.

Children's Books for Sick Days: A Sick Day for Amos Mcgee

A Sick Day for Amos McGee. This sweet story (and Caldecott Medal winner) is about a zookeeper who makes sure to spend some quality time with each of his animal friends at the zoo every day. When he is too sick to come to work, the animals take the bus to him instead.

Samantha loved that the animals left the zoo to go visit their friend with the sniffles and the sneezes. Ellie was amused with the things Amos did with his animal friends (like playing chess with the elephant). And momma? Well, I liked the sweet story of friendship.

Children's Books for Sick Days: Miss Malarkey Won't Be in Today

Miss Malarkey Won’t Be in Today. This is a silly story that turns the tables on your usual sick day story. The teacher from Miss Malarkey Doesn’t Live in Room 10 is back, but this time it’s not her students that have the wild imagination, it’s Miss Malarkey.

Miss Malarkey is sick and can’t help but imagine all of the things that might go wrong if she’s not at school. She rushes in (wearing her bathrobe and slippers!) only to find that her students are perfectly behaved. They send her off to the nurse and tell her to rest—but not before giving her one last thing to worry about.

This one cracked all of us up—especially Samantha who enjoyed imagining each of Miss Malarkey’s crazy scenarios happening in her own classroom.

Children's Books for Sick Days: Berenstain Bears Sick Days


The Berenstain Bears: Sick Days. The quote at the beginning of this story is something all of us mommas can relate to: “When cubs get sick and stay home from school ‘more work for Mama’ is the general rule.” This story takes us through an all familiar day in the life of a family when Sister gets sick. Mama runs around taking care of everyone and everything until all of a sudden she doesn’t feel so hot herself.

Sam’s favorite part was when Brother Bear gets his sick sister’s homework (she said she’s glad she doesn’t have an older sibling to do the same). Ellie liked when Mama Bear told Sister Bear she needs to rest—I think something might have sounded a bit familiar there. 😉 I loved how closely it mirrors real life.

Children's Books for Sick Days: Bear Feels Sick


Bear Feels Sick. Poor Bear feels terrible. He’s achy and stuffy and just can’t get comfy. Luckily for him, all of his animal friends gather around and do all that they can to make him feel better. They get him nice and comfortable, make him tea and pictures and sing lullabies until he falls asleep. When he wakes up he feels better, but all of his friends feel sick so it’s his turn to return the favor.

Like A Sick Day for Amos McGee, this is a story of friendship and is very sweet. Both of my girls adored it—and I did too.

Children's Books for Sick Days: Pinkalicious


Pinkalicious. This last one is not your typical sick day pick, but my seven year old reminded me that Pinkalicious does get sick and she does have to go to the doctor. Touché, young negotiator. Touché.

In this story (which, by the way, is as entertaining for boys as it is for girls despite what some may have against pink), Pinkalicious eats too many pink cupcakes until she turns pink. Her mom rushes her to the doctor, who prescribes a diet of greens until she returns to normal. Strong headed Pinkalicious doesn’t listen to the doctor’s orders and eats another pink cupake—which turns her red! That’s when she decides that doctor knows best.

This one is a favorite in our house whether the girls are sick or not. It’s fun and silly and if you haven’t read it, you should.

Alright. Your turn. Have we missed any of your sick day favorites?


If you’re interested in more of our favorite kids book picks, be sure to check out the rest of the posts in our Bookworms series!

Bookworms: Children's Books for Sick Days

Written by Jennifer Garry
Jen is a freelance writer and girl mom from New York. When she's not knee-deep in glittery crafts and girl talk, you can probably find her sprawled across her couch in the middle of a Netflix marathon with dark chocolate smeared on her face. The struggle is real.