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That's Good! That's Bad! Paperback – October 15, 1993

29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the zoo a boy is lifted into the sky by his balloon. "Oh, that's good. No, that's bad! "--because the balloon pops when it hits a tree deep in the jungle. "Oh, that's bad. No, that's good! "--because the wide-eyed lad falls into a river and climbs onto a hippo, who takes him to shore. Thus incidents that appear to be positive turn out to be negative (and vice-versa) as the child confronts an extremely colorful bevy of animals, including baboons who chase him up a tree, a hissing snake whom he mistakes for a vine, a kindly elephant who pulls him out of quicksand and a stork who flies him back to the zoo, into the arms of his parents. Cuyler's ( Fat Santa ) fanciful tale is energized by exclamations ("WHEEEE!"; "WHOOPS!"; "GLUG! GLUG!") that beg to be read aloud. Catrow's witty cartoons paint the jungle in a humorous light and hilariously depict the boy's alternating terror and relief. And that's good ! Ages 4-7.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2. A cheerful calypso beat by Chris Kubie introduces this recording of Margery Cuyler's That's Good! That's Bad (Holt, 1991). A pleasant male voice reads the story of a boy's zoo adventures slowly and clearly, as a chorus of expressive children's voices chant the refrain, "That's good" or "That's bad." Having children interact with the reader on the tape is excellent, emphasizing the participatory nature of the tale. Children reading along in the book will have no trouble following the story and will enjoy the lively pictures by David Catrow. One side of the cassette includes page turn signals (the sound of a turning page). This is a very nice resource for learning centers and beginning readers. It might even encourage young writers to try their hand at this type of story.
Elizabeth C. Fiene, Clermont County Public Library, Bethel, OH
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Series: That's Good! That's Bad!
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Company; Reprint edition (October 15, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780805029543
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805029543
  • ASIN: 0805029540
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 0.2 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Margery Cuyler has held executive positions in a variety of publishing houses. She and her husband, the parents of two grown sons, live in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. She loves to interact with children on her author visits to schools and enjoys hiking, biking, and entertaining.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 11, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is great fun to read out loud to preschoolers and young school children. Sound effects are written in (bang, whoosh, plop), so you don't need a lot of imagination, just a lot of expression. It is the story of a boy whose parents buy him a balloon at the zoo (that's good), and it lifts him up and away (that's bad). He is deposited in the jungle and meets a variety of helpful and not-so-helpful animals there. The illustrations are delightful, and it has a happy ending. It shows kids that you can have all sorts of adventures in the big wide world, and you can always come home to your loving parents.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By S. A. Farley on December 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
What if a balloon was so big it carried you away? That's what happens to the poor little boy in this story when his parents buy him a balloon at the zoo. What follows is a wonderfully imaginative and beautifully illustrated adventure packed full of wild animals and hair-raising situations.
My daughter loved this and has asked us to read it to her many times. It's delightful for parents, too, which is always a plus for the story-reader!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By DD67 on October 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
I have this book with a tape. I got the set from the children's scholastic magazine. I don't know if my kids would have enjoyed this book as much with out the tape. The tape has great background sounds. The Illustrations are very well done. And The idea of something seeming like it would be good, but then turning out bad and The other way around is very easy to understand in this book. A young boy gets lost from his parents and ends up in and out of danger until he makes his way back to his mom and dad. I would recommend this book for 4 to 6 year olds. The book does show the boy being chased by some angry scarry animals, I know this would be too scarry for my sensitive 2 1/2 year old, but my daughter loved this book when she was around 4 years old.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ms.Stein on July 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
Oh how I love this book! Open it up and right away the illustrations capture your curiousity, they make this book what it is...........fun! Children will laugh, hisssss and growl right along with the story as the little boy lifts off high in the air dangling from a big red balloon. His adventures with the zoo animals are exciting and somewhat suspenseful as he meets face to face with a long, slithering snake (with fangs..oh my!). This is great storytelling for groups of children who will eventually recite the main dialogue "that's good. No, that's bad" before you can even get the words out. After reading it add some dramatic play by acting out the zoo animals and then get to the art supplies and draw your own adventure! Have fun!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rubin on September 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
A variation on a story, "An Old Man Lost His Horse" in Huainai zi, a 2nd century Chinese Daoist classic, which is known by every Chinese children and has become a frequently used idiom. The story calls our attention to the relative nature of truth. It would be nice if this author had noted the source of her intellectual inspiration.

The Chinese original goes:
Once upon a time, an old man live near the Great Wall/or on the border lost his horse to the barbarian tribal people. His neighbors came to comfort him. He responded, ¡°who know it won¡¯t be a lucky thing?¡± After a few month, his horse came back with a herd of horse from the barbarian tribe. His neighbors came to congratulate him. He pondered, ¡°who knows if it foretell misfortune?¡± His son loved to ride these horses and one day fall and broke his leg. People came to comfort the man who said, ¡°Who knows if it is a lucky thing?¡± Then the barbarians attacked. Able bodied men all went to fight and most died. His son was not drafted and was able to be alive.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Jekarl on December 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book was great fun to read to my son around age 4, now even better at age 5 (since he says he knows EVERYTHING) so with the little boy going from something that seems like a good situation quickly turning into a bad one and vice versa, it was entertaining and let my son know it's OK and fun if you don't know exactly what's going to happen next.
I think this is a good book for a parent/child library since we all know children love the security they feel in their routines, but this book makes it OK and funny and silly to not know what is going to happen. If you have a child that insists they know everything, this might help them get over having to know everything.
I kinda like to read it in an over-the-top way and act surprised when good turns to bad/bad turns to good.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book shows that everything has good and bad aspects to it; things are not all good, nor are they all bad... they can be both as the same time.

It is a wonderful book to read to your children (mine are 2 and 4 years old) and they can fill in the ending phrase for each event; it's either good or bad.

I highly recommend this book for your children or grandchildren; it is a fantastic addition to your child's home library.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When my grown children were growing up, my son, especially, had me read this to him often. As I turned the page, he couldn't wait to say "Oh that's good. No, that's bad!" phrase that is repeated so much in the book. I have taken that same book to kindergarten class with me and now that it is completely worn out, I had to order another to read to my grandchildren. They enjoy it just as their Dad did!
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