Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is not your average children’s story. It tells the cold, hard truth of some of the things that go wrong when you are having a very bad day!
It is the story of Alexander’s day, which goes from bad to worse starting from when he wakes up with gum in his hair. Later, he falls in mud, gets soap in his eyes, finds out he has a cavity and more. Alexander knew “it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day” right from the start.
These things that may not seem like big problems in the scheme of things, but to a young child, they are a very big deal! This book shows children that bad days do happen, and they happen to everyone.
Why kids will love it
- Children will relate to some of the terrible, horrible things that go wrong for Alexander. No toys in the cereal box, problems with best friends in the playground, no dessert in his lunch box and lima beans for dinner.
- Children will also relate to Alexander – he is a regular child who forgets that his dad told him not to play with the copying machine, who hates kissing on TV and hates being scrunched in the car!
- The story is narrated by Alexander, so children will follow it easily and understand the language used.
- Although the pictures are black and white, they are wonderfully emotive. Children can instantly recognize Alexander’s unhappiness and grumpiness at times.
Why parents will love it
- The book is written in a very straight-forward manner and is entertaining for adults as well as children. Poor Alexander really has woken up on the wrong side of the bed!
- Sometimes parents need a reminder of a child’s perspective – the reason behind an unhappy or grumpy face. A reminder that small things to an adult aren’t so small to a young child!
- As good as a parent’s advice can be, occasionally children need to hear things from somebody else to really sink in. So when you tell your child things like: ‘it is OK that you are having a bad day’ and ‘sometimes these things happen’, your message is reinforced when children can see it for themselves that it really does happen to other people.
- It’s nice to see your child able to relate to a character in a story. You can see them actively interested in the book as their enjoyment of listening and reading increases.
Judith Viorst is an American author, newspaper journalist, and psychoanalysis researcher. As well as the Alexander series of short picture books, she wrote “The Tenth Good Thing About Barney” (about the death of a pet) as well as many more books for adults and children.
In the late 70’s, Judith Viorst studied Freudian psychology, then became a research graduate at Washington Psychoanalytic Institute.