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Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Hardcover – Picture Book, June 1, 1972
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So begin the trials and tribulations of the irascible Alexander, who has been earning the sympathy of readers since 1972. People of all ages have terrible, horrible days, and Alexander offers us the cranky commiseration we crave as well as a reminder that things may not be all that bad. As Alexander's day progresses, he faces a barrage of bummers worthy of a country- western song: getting smushed in the middle seat of the car, a dessertless lunch sack, a cavity at the dentist's office, stripeless sneakers, witnessing kissing on television, and being forced to sleep in railroad-train pajamas. He resolves several times to move to Australia.
Judith Viorst flawlessly and humorously captures a child's testy temperament, rendering Alexander sympathetic rather than whiny. Our hero's gum-styled hair and peevish countenance are artfully depicted by Ray Cruz's illustrations. An ALA Notable Book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a great antidote to bad days everywhere, sure to put a smile on even the crabbiest of faces. (Ages 5 to 9)
From the Publisher
- ASIN : 0689300727
- Publisher : Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Ex-library edition (June 1, 1972)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 32 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780689300721
- ISBN-13 : 978-0689300721
- Reading age : 6 - 9 years
- Lexile measure : AD840L
- Grade level : 1 - 4
- Item Weight : 12 ounces
- Dimensions : 10 x 0.4 x 7.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #16,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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I could have thought of so many wonderful teaching moments (for example when he gets out of bed and trips over with his skate board....Easy lesson: clean up your toys).
After reading this book at bedtime storytime, my 5 year old literally curled up in bed with a sunken heavy heart as a depressed adult.
I had to immediately tell her i would make up an alternate ending so I made up a “next awesome terrific day” so she can forget about the piece of crap I had just read to her. So disappointed!!!!
I think they’re not understand the point of the child’s side of the dialog. It’s meant to be a very tough- in-cheek type of book. Written from Alexander’s point of view, it helps the reader see that he’s having a bad day. HOWEVER, all the things that have gone wrong for him during the day are all things that are typical of a child’s mind, and how they focus all their attention on themselves and the “small stuff” throughout the day. How each “small” event that happens can be larger than life for a child.
BUT, it’s also meant to be a joke. How these things that are happening to him are really not that big of a deal, but because he’s a typical little boy he keeps getting into trouble or feeling like everyone else is having a better day than him.
My mom used to read this to myself and my sisters growing up when we felt that no one understood us, or that we were all alone in our experiences.
This book illustrates that EVERYONE has bad days. It’s how YOU CHOOSE to cope with them that matters.
I have four girls, and bought this book for them and read it to them. They are ages 7-17 and they understood the point.
It's about a cranky little boy who just wants to be miserable. This author is not impressive if this is a good example of her writing talent. I don't see any writing talent at all - just a big price tag for the book!!
This book is beautifully illustrated. My girls loved the story, and the book is a nice size with quality weight paper pages. I think the little ones can kind of relate to all the terrible things that happen to Alexander in the book, and it's a nice way to kind of let them know that sometimes their grumpy feelings are normal. This is now one of our favorite nightly stories, and they ask for it often.
Top reviews from other countries
I first encountered Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day many years ago in Library School. While I was in the main office trying to fix some mistakes in my registration for the next term's classes, my pencil broke, the hem of my coat unravelled, and I dropped my books. Mae Benne, a beloved and much-respected figure in children's literature, stepped out of her office and handed me a copy of this book. It helped! The book is charmingly written and it is easy for anyone who has ever had a bad day to feel better after reading it.
Since then I have not only read this wonderful book to my own children, but I have kept a copy at hand in the various training programs where I have worked to cheer trainees who are having a bad day. I bought two copies of the book last month while I was visiting family in the UK, one to give my little granddaughter, and one to give to her school. My granddaughter loves it as much as I do, although she needed to know for example, that "sneakers" are trainers.
I would count this as a classic book!