Monday, March 10, 2014

Picture Book Monday with a review of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I don't know why, but for some reason I did not encounter this classic book when I was a child, and it has taken me a ridiculously long time to get around to reviewing it. I am delighted that did, because reading about poor Alexander's dreadful day makes even the worst of my days seem positively fabulous. This book also happens to be wonderfully funny, which is a huge added bonus.


Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Judith Viorst
Illustrated by Ray Cruz
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 7
Simon and Schuster, 1987, 978-0689711732
One morning Alexander wakes up and it isn’t long before he realizes that this day is going to be a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.” The night before he went to sleep with gum in his mouth and now he has gum in his hair. When he gets out of bed Alexander trips over his skateboard, and then he accidentally drops his sweater in the sink when the water is running.
   At breakfast his brothers find surprises in their cereal boxes, and all Alexander finds is cereal. On the way to school Alexander is “scrunched” and “smushed” in the car and no one seems to care.
   All of this is bad enough, but for poor Alexander the terrible, horrible, and very bad things keep happening and there doesn’t seem to be anything he can do about it. Except to perhaps move to Australia, which he thinks might be the solution to his problems.

This wonderful book has been delighting and amusing children and their families since it first came out in 1972, and it still has universal appeal. Everyone has days when everything seems to go wrong and therefore everyone will be able to relate to Alexander. Readers will find themselves both commiserating with Alexander, and laughing at the situations he gets himself into. Sometimes, when life gives you bad days, all you can do is to laugh at them.

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