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Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day Paperback – September 11, 2014
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About the Author
Judith Viorst is the bestselling author of SUDDENLY SIXTY, FOREVER FIFTY, NECESSARY LOSSES and several other works. She is also the author of the classic children's book ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY. She lives in Washington D.C. with her husband. Ray Cruz is the bestselling illustrator of the Alexander series.
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I had this book when I was a little girl, and loved it, so I of course had to have it for my son. I remembered it comforting me. I remember commiserating with poor Alexander, who was so set upon.
And, my wonderful little boy finds the same comfort in Alexander as I once did. The knowledge that- sometimes, the world is not a fair place. Sometimes everything just seems to go wrong.
This book gives us a wonderful starting point for a conversation. We talk about how Alexander's choices are making things harder for himself. We talk about how some things just aren't going Alexander's way. We talk about things that Alexander could have done instead, to perhaps make things better, instead of worse. And, one of the most important things that we talk about is how, no matter what, I love him. Even when everything goes wrong. Even when he isn't acting very nice. Nothing that he can do can make me love him any less, he can only make me love him more. And- tomorrow is another day. We can always go to bed, and try to have a better day, and make better choices, tomorrow.
I read some of the negative reviews on this book, and they really confuse me. Are children not supposed to have bad days? Or, if they have bad days, are they not supposed to be able to talk about them? The safety of cuddling up with Momma and being able to talk about how everything is going wrong is one of the greatest gifts a child can be given. I can't make the world a wonderful place- but I can help my son deal with it, when it isn't. Alexander won't bring world peace, but I know that it helped my little boy explain to me why he was acting so terrible- he was really just sad, and needed me to understand that he felt the world was unfair sometimes.
So, while I can hope against hope that my son will always have good days, and that when faced with upsetting things he will act with nothing but smiles and good cheer- I realize that I am raising a person, and not a machine. Some days are like that. Even in Australia.
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.
The story had me cracking up so badly. It is really hilarious! I think I enjoyed it far too much ... definitely more than my 10 month old. She looked puzzled by all the laughter. I read the comment about the use of the word "hate" in the book. It didn't bother me but I guess it is an opportunity to teach your child. (To each his own.)
Regrettably I bought the kindle version and the print is VERY fine! (And I do have perfect vision.) Additionally it does not allow you to increase the font size and two pages appear at a time. I struggled to see the words.
Unfortunately the kindle version really drops the ball. It's a good thing that I know the words off by heart because on the page they are almost too small to read. Compressing two pages at a time of an oversized book to the size of a tablet screen just doesn't work. There is not a zoom option, nor is there a page select option for this -even though there is for most kindle books. This means that not only can I not get a closer look but every time we read it I then have to leaf back through the entire book, one page at a time, to read it again. Epic fail, Amazon. Inedible content is the only thing saving this.