Wonderful Books From the Past: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day


Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst is a story about a boy named Alexander who is not having the best of luck throughout his day. From the moment he wakes, it seems as though the world is against him and nothing is right for him. I guess that is how you feel when you wake up to find gum in your hair. Throughout the day, Alexander keeps on encountering problems like not finding a prize in the cereal box, losing his position as the #1 friend, not having dessert in his lunch box, and having lima beans for dinner. All he wants to do is move to Australia in order to get away from all the bad things happening to him. However to his dismay, his mother tells him that everyone has bad days, even in Australia.

The main reason that I really like this book is because it touches on something that every child will experience. We all have had at least one bad day where we felt as though nothing was going right for us, but was just fine for everyone else. This book is a great book for children because it can help tshow them that everyone has bad days and that they are not alone in their experiences. Alexander is a great character for children to relate to because we have all felt the way that he does in the story, and I am sure we have had some of those things that happened to him happen to us. This story is a great way to introduce discussions onabout bad days and experiences with children. On top of all of that, the story is charming and funny, and it has a catchy phrase that is repeated throughout the book, “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day” that is bound to catch on with the children.

The illustrations of the book are done by Ray Cruz and they are hand drawn illustrations. The illustrations are done in black and white, which I think adds to the mood of the story. When you think of colors that go along with a bad day, you think of black and grayish colors. The illustrations are very well done and go along with the story quite well. The text and illustrations are also integrated with one another very well.

This book is recommended for children 6 to 9. The book was first published in 1972, and it is great book that children will enjoy for many more years to come!

Happy Reading!


One response »

  1. La'Toya, thanks for the reminder of this fabulous book! You are so right, we ALL still have terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. For that very reason, I think those who establish recommended ages for books missed it for this one…..it should be recommended for ages 3 – 93!!!

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