Amos and Boris

Amos and Boris

by William Steig


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Tuesday, December 17


Amos the mouse and Boris the whale: a devoted pair of friends with nothing at all in common, except good hearts and a willingness to help their fellow mammal. They meet after Amos sets out to sail the sea and finds himself in extreme need of rescue. And there will come a day, long after Boris has gone back to a life at sea and Amos has gone back to life on dry land, when the tiny mouse must find a way to rescue the great whale.

Amos & Boris is a 1971 New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year, Notable Children's Book of the Year, and Outstanding Book of the Year.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312535667
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication date: 09/15/2009
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 48,508
Product dimensions: 8.60(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile: AD910L (what's this?)
Age Range: 5 - 8 Years

About the Author

William Steig (1907-2003) was a cartoonist, illustrator and author of award-winning books for children, including Shrek!, on which the DreamWorks movies are based; the Caldecott Medal-winner Sylvester and the Magic Pebble; The Caldecott Honor book The Amazing Bone; and the Newbury Honor Books Abel's Island and Doctor De Soto. Stieg also published thirteen collections of drawings for adults, including The Lonely Ones, Male/Female, and Our Miserable Life.

Reading Group Guide

Animal Exploration

Begin a discussion about the characteristics of mammals (e.g., mammals nurse their young, mammals are warm-blooded, mammals have hair). Ask students to compare and contrast the characteristics of Amos and Boris, and to determine if they are mammals. Then have students choose a mammal or an ocean animal to research. If students have access to the Internet, Web sites such as the Monterey Bay

Aquarium's E-Quarium and the Birmingham Zoo will offer them information on a wide range of animal species. Students should produce a written report about their animal and share their research with the class to teach them about a variety of animals.

Faraway Friends

Amos and Boris missed each other while they were apart. Discuss methods of staying in touch with a special person who is far away (e.g., phone calls, e-mail, letterwriting). Review the format of a friendly letter, and ask students to compose a letter and send it to a special person. Students may enjoy sharing the response to their letters with the class.

Packing Up

Review what Amos brings with him on his ocean journey. Then discuss the specific items necessary for a variety of excursions. What do you need if you are going hiking? What if you are going fishing? What if you are going on safari in Africa? In small groups, have students choose a destination and create a list of appropriate items for their journey. Each group's list should be presented to, and critiqued by, the rest of the class.

Mighty Mouse

Read to the class a version of Aesop's "The Lion and the Mouse." Ask them to compare and contrast this book and the fable. To demonstrate graphically how the two stories overlap, record their similarities and differences on a Venn diagram.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Amos and Boris 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best children's book of all time. When I was little I used to cry every time at the end, and then ask my dad to read it to me again. But he couldn't because he would be crying too. I have never read a more touching and uplifting tale of friendship. Whenever anyone asks me to recommend a children's book, this is always the first one on my list! So go ahead and get it--you won't be sorry.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A moralistic book about the strength and power of friendship of an unlikely duo. Reminiscent of the fable the Lion and the Mouse, Amos & Boris was my favorite bedtime story as a toddler... and the book I learned to read on.
Gardenseed More than 1 year ago
There is something about this seemingly simple story and seemingly plain drawings that makes me want to return to it time and again. I have given it to all my very young cousins  and am about to order another copy for a five-year-old friend. It's just a good story and the simplicity adds value. We don't always need or want fancy formats or glorious paintings. ..
Guest More than 1 year ago
The whale helps the mouse at sea, then the mouse helps the whale at sea, then they must part. A great story of a 'different kind' of friendship, but a friendship nonetheless.
curiousbutterpants on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's a very rare thing to see such a striking friendship between a mountain-of-a-mammal whale and a mote-of-a-mammal mouse. But for Amos and Boris, it's perhaps the most natural thing ever. In a book about dreams and aspirations, life and the bonds of everlasting friendships, Amos the mouse finds himself lost at sea - only to be rescued by Boris the whale, a serene, friendly creature on his way to a conference of whales off the Ivory Coast of Africa. What follows is something many authors strive for but few perhaps achieve: a perfect, endearing portrait of a friendship that knows no bounds. Steig envelopes us into the story with his striking, signature sketched illustrations - this time, often filling up whole pages - and the experience is almost pitch-perfect. We feel the emotional echoes of a friendship shared, from the quiet exchanges and the familiarity that grows with one another's cues, to the bigger, nobler displays of sacrifice for friends. We sense that a small mouse like Amos would never be able to help his whale friend out in any big way, but we're delighted and surprised and feel it's perfectly natural when he does - and with that noble act done, we watch with great joy as they part again, forever to be great friends. Ah, if only every mouse like Amos, we feel, could have as great a whale friend as Boris, and vice-versa. It's the way it should be.
kaida46 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another great tale from Steig. The author uses delightful phrases and illustrations in the telling of this tale which is one of the reasons why I love it. It is a tender story as well about dreams and a special friendship. (A bit long for younger children.)
dnati on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a touching book about an unexpected friendship between a mouse and a whale. While the pair have many physical differences, they share a common value of friendship and loyalty. They overcome some huge obstacles in their journey and even though they leave one another eventually, they will always remain close in a way.
ktextor on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is a story that touches on friendship as well as not judging a book by it's cover. It's about a mouse who sets sail on the open sea and while he is sleeping he falls into the water. As he is trying to stay alive a whale comes and saves him. The two become friends on the travel back to land and the mouse says he will never forget his friend and find a way to help him one day. The whale cannot believe that a small little mouse could ever help him but he stumbles upon some trouble himself and his mouse friend comes to the rescue! Very cute book for children when talking about friendship.
ssajj on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A friendship between a mouse and a whale is eloquently described in this story. Though the two have obvious differences, they are both loyal characters and both value the friendship they have with each other. The two characters meet when Boris the whale saves Amos the mouse who is lost at sea. Amos later returns the favor. The author does a nice job of highlighting the two very different animals' meaningful relationship.
DayehSensei on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This a touching, at times humorous tale about the unlikely friendship of a mouse and a whale. Amos and Boris find that they are both able to help the other in unexpected ways. Steig's language is sophisticated, yet child friendly.
madamepince on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love William Steig, but the illustrations are just too small for a good read aloud.