Feeling Sick: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about feeling sick?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to feeling sick. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about feeling sick.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about feeling sick, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Hospital to popular sellers like A Sick Day for Amos McGee to some of our favorite hidden gems like When Your Elephant Has the Sniffles.

We hope this list of kids books about feeling sick can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee book
#1
A Sick Day for Amos McGee
Written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

THE BEST SICK DAY EVER and the animals in the zoo feature in this striking picture book debut. Friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In Amos McGee’s case, all sorts of species, too! Every day he spends a little bit of time with each of his friends at the zoo, running races with the tortoise, keeping the shy penguin company, and even reading bedtime stories to the owl. But when Amos is too sick to make it to the zoo, his animal friends decide it’s time they returned the favor. A Sick Day for Amos McGee is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children’s Book of the Year and the winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal. This title has Common Core connections.

When Your Elephant Has the Sniffles book
#2
When Your Elephant Has the Sniffles
Written by Susanna Leonard Hill and illustrated by Daniel Wiseman
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

When your elephant has the sniffles, you better make sure he doesn’t sneeze! This charming and hilarious board book highlights the many ways to make an under-the-weather elephant feel better!

Does your elephant have the sniffles? Make sure to take good care of him because you don’t want him to start sneezing. Gather up your tissues and your pillows and make that elephant feel better! But don’t get too close…or you just might end up with the sniffles, too!

Madeline's Christmas book
#3
Madeline's Christmas
Written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Everyone gets her Christmas wish when Madeline’s in charge!

Something is not right with the famous “twelve little girls in two straight lines.” All are sick in bed except brave Madeline, who must run the school, for even Miss Clavel is not feeling very well. But when Madeline finds help from a magical merchant, the girls embark on a Christmas journey that will surely make them forget their sniffles and sneezes.

Llama Llama Home with Mama book
#4
Llama Llama Home with Mama
Written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Llama Llama, morning light. Feeling yucky, just not right. Down to breakfast. Tiny sneeze. Sniffle, snuffle. Tissues, please!

Ah-choo! Uh-oh, Llama Llama’s nose is feeling tickly, his throat is feeling scratchy, and his head is feeling stuffy. Back to bed, no school today for Llama Llama! Instead, he’s home with Mama. By lunchtime, though, he’s beginning to feel a tiny bit better. But now someone else has the sneezes . . . Mama! And who will help her feel better? Why, Llama Llama, of course! Anna Dewdney’s fun-to-read rhymes are sure to help children and their parents get through those under-the-weather days.

Dragons Get Colds Too book
#5
Dragons Get Colds Too
Written by Rebecca Roan and illustrated by Charles Santoso
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

For fans of Dragons Love Tacos comes a fresh, funny story that deals with everyone’s least favorite thing: a cold. Is your dragon sleepy? Does he have a runny nose? Does he keep sneezing fire? Unfortunately, it sounds like your dragon has a cold. But luckily, this guide will help anxious dragon owners through the challenges of caring for their sick dragon! Balancing tongue-in-cheek humor through Charles Santoso’s illustrations with gentle reassurance, this story proves that laughter really is the best medicine and will appeal to anyone who has felt under the weather.

  1. How Do You Care for a Very Sick Bear? - You and your friend Bear are an excellent pair. But if your friend gets sick, And can’t do all the things that you two love to do… You may wonder—how do you care for a very sick Bear? When someone dear is dealing with illness, it’s difficult to know what to do or say. The actor Vanessa Bayer experienced this firsthand when she was treated for childhood leukemia. In her first children’s book, she offers gentle, reassuring advice that people of all ages will appreciate.

  2. When a Kid Like Me Fights Cancer - When a young boy finds out he has cancer, he learns a lot right away. He learns that cancer is something you fight, and that cancer isn’t anyone’s fault—especially not his. He discovers that many things change with cancer, but some of the most important things stay the same. He also learns that having cancer is easier when everyone around him wants to help him fight.

  3. Daniel and the Nutcracker (Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood) - A new generation of children love Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, inspired by the classic series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood! The show must go on as Daniel Tiger and his friends dance the Nutcracker ballet in this adorable board book with a padded cover and holographic foil! It’s the perfect stocking stuffer for Daniel Tiger fans! Daniel Tiger can’t wait to see his friends Katerina Kittycat and Prince Wednesday perform together in the Nutcracker Ballet! But when he arrives at the Enchanted Garden, Daniel learns that Prince Wednesday is sick and can’t dance! Can Daniel step in and save the show?

  4. Cancer Hates Kisses - Mothers are superheroes when they’re battling cancer, and this empowering picture book gives them an honest yet spirited way to share the difficult experience with their kids. Author Jessica Reid Sliwerski was diagnosed with breast cancer four months after giving birth to her daughter. And through all the stages of treatment—surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, losing her hair—she thought about how hard it would be to talk to your child about cancer while coping with it. She wrote this picture book to give other parents and their children an encouraging tool for having those conversations—a lovingly upbeat book that is also refreshingly authentic and straightforward. With its simple text and heartwarming illustrations, Cancer Hates Kisses is relatable to any type of cancer.

The Whole Sky book
#10
The Whole Sky
Written and illustrated by Heather Henson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12

When a devastating sickness spreads through a thoroughbred farm community, a young horse whisperer is determined to find out why all the foals are dying in this tightly woven, tender coming-of-age novel from award-winning author Heather Henson. Twelve-year-old Sky and her father are horse whisperers—their preternatural tenderness and understanding of horses, and Sky’s uncanny ability to actually understand what they’re saying, become their livelihood during the foaling season at multimillion dollar horse farms. They’re sought after by the most prestigious farms in the country to keep pregnant horses calm and stress-free until they give birth. But this spring, something awful is happening…foal after foal is a stillborn, and no one knows why. And worse for Sky, who lost her mother only months earlier, her most beloved horse is about to have her first foal. In agony, Sky takes it upon herself to figure out what the vets are missing, and stop it before even more foals are lost.

The Doll Hospital book
#11
The Doll Hospital
Written by Kallie George and illustrated by Sara Gillingham
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s a quiet morning at the Doll Hospital until… DING-A-LING-A-LING! The emergency bells ring! Here comes a patient who needs Dr. Pegs’s help. Dr. Pegs is about to get to work when… DING-A-LING-A-LING! Here comes another patient! And another! How will Dr. Pegs take care of them all? Looks like the doctor needs some help herself!

Through My Window book
#12
Through My Window
Written by Tony Bradman and illustrated by Eileen Browne
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

This special edition commemorates the 30th anniversary of this classic multicultural picture book. Jo is ill and has to stay in bed for the day, but her mum promises to bring her home a surprise to make her feel better. All day long Jo looks out of the window waiting for her mum to return, and in the meantime sees all her friends from the neighbourhood, including the postman, the window cleaner and Mrs Ali from next door. But when will Mum be back with her surprise for Jo?

Halfway Normal book
#13
Halfway Normal
Written and illustrated by Barbara Dee
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

Twelve-year-old cancer survivor Norah struggles to fit in at middle school after two years of treatment, but she finds her voice with the help of new friend Griffin, who shares her love of mythology.

Triple Pet Problem book
#14
Triple Pet Problem
Written by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Erwin Madrid
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Judy’s unusual pets—Jaws, Mouse, and Toady—are the center of attention in a new Judy Moody® book for newly independent readers. Dr. Judy knows a sick pet when she sees one, and Jaws the Venus flytrap is for-sure sick. Time for some urgent care and first aid! Judy Moody, pet vet, will never rest in her efforts to nurse Jaws back to health. In her quest for a medical miracle, Judy finds herself wrangling an unruly toad and seeking help from Mouse, the mind-reading cat. Nothing will stand in the way of Judy’s search for a cure. Not even the fearsome Carnivoria vampira! From Megan McDonald comes this selection of three mini-stories just right for luring young readers into the Moody universe.

  1. That's What Dinosaurs Do - From The Bad Seed and The Good Egg creators, Jory John and Pete Oswald, comes a story about a dinosaur who loves to ROAR. William the dinosaur likes to roar. At the park?“ROAR.” At the bus stop?“ROAR!” At the farm? You bet. ROARRR! William never lets the chance to roar pass him by, even if others find it rather bothersome. That’s until William gets a sore throat and the doctor warns him not to roar for a WHOLE week. But can this overexcited, boisterous, giant lizard not do what dinosaurs are meant to do?! In his humorous and insightful style, Jory John creates an epic story about unapologetically and happily being yourself, no matter the cost. Another side-splitting combination of John’s brilliant text and Pete Oswald’s expressive and lively illustrations, That’s What Dinosaurs Do is a read-aloud that young readers will roar for again and again.

  2. The Itchy-Saurus - “I am no Tyrannosaurus. I am an . . . Itchy-saurus!” Can anyone help a dangerous dinosaur in distress? When T Rex gets a terrible itchy red rash, all he can do is scratch, scratch, scratch! Now he’s no longer Tyrannosaurus, he’s ITCHY-SAURUS. He can’t sleep. He can’t eat. And that’s driving him wild and making him mean. The only one who could step in and soothe his skin is Doc Bill the Platypus. But is Bill brave enough to help a big, angry dinosaur?

  3. A Plan for Pops - Lou spends every Saturday with Grandad and Pops. They walk to the library hand in hand, like a chain of paper dolls. Grandad reads books about science and design, Pops listens to rock and roll, and Lou bounces from lap to lap. But everything changes one Saturday. Pops has a fall. That night there is terrible news: Pops will be confined to a wheelchair, not just for now, but for always. Unable to cope with his new circumstances, he becomes withdrawn and shuts himself in his room. Hearing Grandad trying to cheer up Pops inspires Lou to make a plan. Using skills learned from Grandad, and with a little help from their neighbors, Lou comes up with a plan for Pops.

  4. Eight Times Up - Ever since his mom left, Riley has been a mess. He feels nervous all the time. His heart pounds, his neck is tight, and he can’t seem to turn off his brain. His dad signs him up for aikido, hoping it will help. In the dojo, Riley meets boys who are much rougher than he is and a girl who is tougher than all the rest of them put together. For Wafaa, aikido is not her first choice. She was disqualified from competing in judo for wearing a hijab. From the first time she steps on the mat, it’s clear she is far more skilled than anyone expected. Through the teachings of their sensei, Riley and his classmates come to understand that aikido is not about winning or losing or about being perfect. Sensei shows them how to tap into their inner strength and find their place in the universe.

Kasey & Ivy book
#19
Kasey & Ivy
Written and illustrated by Alison Hughes
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Through twenty-six letters to her friend Nina, twelve-year-old Kasey chronicles the often humorous observations and impressions of her unexpected, month-long stay in a geriatric ward for the treatment of a rare but treatable bone disease (“osteo-something-something-itis”). Kasey tries to make her life less dull by wearing her own nightgowns, surrounding herself with her favorite stuffies and developing an unusual exercise routine. Hospital food, insomnia and the germy communal bath are enduring sources of dread, but some new (and unexpected) friends make her life bearable.

Katie Woo Has the Flu book
#20
Katie Woo Has the Flu
Written by Fran Manushkin and illustrated by Tammy Lyon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Katie misses school while she is home with the flu.

Papillon Goes to the Vet book
#21
Papillon Goes to the Vet
Written and illustrated by Anna Kang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

Papillon, the kitty so fluffy he floats, is back! Only this time, he’s grounded. Literally. Weighed down after swallowing a toy and beset with hiccups, Papillon is miserable! Miss Tilly takes him to the vet, but will he ever float again?

The Forever Tree book
#22
The Forever Tree
Written by Tereasa Surratt and Donna Lukas and illustrated by Nicola Slater
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A fresh twist on Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree based on a real tree in Wisconsin that became something more, this is a timeless story about loss and renewal at home and in nature.

“This is a true story about a Tree that grew from something more than water and sunshine. It grew from love.”

The animals and humans always knew their tree was special. The trunk was the best place to host championship bingo tournaments, and the branches were perfect for swinging in the shade!

But when the tree gets sick, neighbors new and old will have to join forces if they have any chance of saving their treetop home.

A touching tale based on the true story of one special tree, and the community that brought it back to life.

Maisy Goes to the Hospital book
#23
Maisy Goes to the Hospital
Written and illustrated by Lucy Cousins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

One day as Maisy is bouncing on her trampoline, she bounces a LITTLE too high. Oh, no! What will happen after she falls and hurts her leg? Maisy’s friend Charley goes with her to the hospital, where X-rays, a cast, and an overnight stay ensue. Maisy feels strange to be away from home, but a friendly patient soon helps her feel better. Little readers will be relieved and intrigued to share a memorable — and perhaps familiar — experience with Maisy.

  1. Wild Blues - The threat of two escaped convicts and a missing friend lead Lizzie on a harrowing journey through the wilds of the Adirondacks in this stunning novel from National Book Award finalist Beth Kephart. Thirteen-year-old Lizzie’s favorite place in the world is her uncle’s cabin. Uncle Davy’s renovated schoolhouse cabin, filled with antiques and on the edge of the Adirondacks, disconnected from the rest of the world, is like something out of a fairy tale. And an escape from reality is exactly what Lizzie needs. Life hasn’t been easy for Lizzie lately. Her father abandoned their family, leaving Lizzie with her oftentimes irresponsible mother. Now, her mom has cancer and being unable to care for Lizzie during her chemotherapy, Mom asks her where she’d like to spend the summer. The answer is simple: Uncle Davy’s cabin. Lizzie loves her uncle’s home for many reasons, but the main one is Matias, Uncle Davy’s neighbor and Lizzie’s best friend. Matias has proportionate dwarfism, but that doesn’t stop him and Lizzie from wandering in the woods. Every day they go to their favorite nook where Matias paints with watercolors and Lizzie writes. Until one day when Matias never arrives. When news breaks about two escaped convicts from the nearby prison, Lizzie fears the worst. And when Uncle Davy goes missing, too, Lizzie knows she’s the only one who knows this area of woods well enough to save them. Armed with her trusted Keppy survival book, Lizzie sets out into the wilds of the Adirondacks, proving just how far she’ll go to save the people she loves.

  2. Hospital - How long will I be there? Will I stay the night? Who will look after me? Reading Hospital with your child is the perfect opportunity to talk about these questions, and many more!

  3. The Greedy Goat - A very greedy goat wreaks havoc in the barnyard in an entertaining cautionary tale from Petr Horcek. Goat is tired of always eating herbs and grass. She wants to try something new! So one day she embarks on a tasting spree, trying the dog’s food, the pig’s potato peels, and more, with the farmer’s underpants topping off a massive meal. Pretty soon, everyone else around the farm starts to notice that certain things have gone missing — including a now elusive Goat herself. It turns out that all that adventurous eating has left her feeling quite ill, prompting a recovery that plays out with a nod to another (very hungry) children’s favorite: “On Monday, her eyes stopped rolling. On Tuesday, her tummy stopped rumbling. . . .” After Goat is finally feeling like herself again, surely she’ll have learned her lesson. Won’t she?

Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!