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The Worst Day of My Life Ever! (Best Me I Can Be) Paperback – March 15, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 109 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

With The Worst Day of My Life…EVER! Julia Cook has hit another home run. Kids will not only relate but learn from the character RJ as he uses listening skills to transform his worst day ever into his best day ever! Parents, teachers, and school counselors will delight in having such an invaluable resource on their bookshelf. --Roxanne Davidson, Elementary School Counselor, Portland, OR, Founder of Books That Heal Kids Blog

Listening to others, following directions, making good choices. These are some pretty important lessons for children to learn and a tall order for a book to teach. Author Julia Cook has found a way to present them in a light-hearted manner that parents felt was going to impact their child's social interactions. There is no sense of blame or "I told you so" lessons. In fact the book was seen as empowering and offering a successful approach at illustrating the effects of decision making to small children. There are great parenting tips in the back of the book which include practical techniques for teaching your child to make eye contact when they are talking to someone and even how playing Simon Says can be truly valuable. The book itself features beautiful illustrations that are both bright and colorful. --The National Parenting Center

Listening to others, following directions, making good choices. These are some pretty important lessons for children to learn and a tall order for a book to teach. Author Julia Cook has found a way to present them in a light-hearted manner that parents felt was going to impact their child's social interactions. There is no sense of blame or "I told you so" lessons. In fact the book was seen as empowering and offering a successful approach at illustrating the effects of decision making to small children. There are great parenting tips in the back of the book which include practical techniques for teaching your child to make eye contact when they are talking to someone and even how playing Simon Says can be truly valuable. The book itself features beautiful illustrations that are both bright and colorful. --The National Parenting Center

From the Inside Flap

RJ has had a rough day he wakes up with gum stuck in his hair, misses recess because he's late to school, earns a zero on his math homework, kicks the ball into his own team's soccer goal, and messes up Mom's kitchen with his overflowing pancake batter! With his mother's help, RJ learns that his problems happen because he doesn't listen or pay attention to directions from her, his school principal, teachers, or even his friends.

Author Julia Cook's new book shows RJ as well as all K-6 readers the steps to the fundamental social skills of listening and following instructions. When RJ learns to use these skills the right way, he has the best day of his life!

This book is the first in the BEST ME I CAN BE series to teach children social skills that can make home life happier and school more successful. The book includes tips for parents and educators on how to effectively teach listening and following instructions skills to kids.

2011 Winner of The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval and the MOM's Choice Awards Honoring Excellence.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 5
  • Lexile Measure: AD770L (What's this?)
  • Series: Best Me I Can Be!
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Boys Town Press; 1 edition (March 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934490202
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934490204
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
All of author Julia Cook's books are STAPLES in my academic skills curriculum as an elementary school counselor. There's a very simple reason I re-read them over and over every year - they WORK. The best way I know how to help kids overcome academic deficits is to practice these weaknesses. What better way to introduce skills then through an engaging story of a character going through the same struggle.

Some kids have no problem following directions, but other kids like RJ come to school everyday with the best intentions and leave feeling down on themselves. That really breaks my heart. As an educator it's my job to help those students find success. If we want kids to follow directions - lets teach them in a loving and supportive way. This is a very appropriate story to do just so.....

I've already been using The Worst Day of My Life Ever! to do some re-teaching around following teacher instructions. It's going to make a WORLD of difference when we come back after summer break too. Can't wait to kick off some role plays around following directions with the reinforcement of Julia Cook's latest genius.
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By Andie on August 18, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a licensed therapist who works with children ages 4-10 and I am always in search of good books to read with my children (clients) that are entertaining, engaging and either teach a needed skill or lesson. None of my children (clients) were especially thrilled with this book unlike other books we have read together. The main character (RJ) is not very likable; it's difficult to become interested or invested in his character from the very beginning or even when he learns to make better choices. Simply put, as a reader (adult or child) you just don't care about him or what happens to him. For some odd reason, the author starts rhyming her words in two different sections which does not make much sense or add anything to the book; even my children asked why the book started rhyming when it had not rhymed anywhere previously. This is a good example of why a person should just order ONE book by an author to make sure it is the type of writing style that is entertaining, engaging and likable...unfortunately, I ordered two other books "My Mouth is a Volcano" and "A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue". Volcano was again just "okay" but I will probably send Tattle Tongue back because it was just so ridiculous and not ridiculous as in a "fun, childlike" manner. It had a good idea but the writing and illustrations were terrible. I hate to sound so critical but as a therapist I realize my fellow professional colleagues (and parents too) are often very busy with limited finances to purchase books of this type so I am trying to give as honest of an opinion (and again, it is mine and my client's opinion) that this book is just "okay" but I feel I should have looked a little longer and harder for something better...now perhaps after reading this review, you now can yourself.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My 5-year-old son loves this book. There are very few books on teaching kids how to listen and follow instructions at school. This book is wonderful and really captures my son's attention throughout the story. The author has a gifted talent in teaching complicated concept and life skills to little kids with such great humor.
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This is a wonderful book for explaining to children how they can take responsibility for their own day by listening and paying attention. I read this VERY often to my two children, 3 & 5 to go over how they could have made their own days better when we have "rough" days.
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I got this book to read to my 6yr old nephew, zach, who has adhd. At first, I didn't like the way it was written, it's not really written in a manner that makes it easy to read to a kid. When trying to get the lesson across as to why RJ was having a bad day, it loses it's childlike mannerism and reads like an adult talking to another adult. I had to do some impromptu dialogue to keep it more simplistic for zach. for that reason, i was going to rate this book with about 2 or 3. but zach did get the point. the character, RJ, was having a bad day simply because he was not listening and paying attention. The book teaches kids that in order to truly listen, they need to look at the person talking to them and respond accordingly when they are done. surprisingly to me, zach did get the point. when i'm speaking to him and his attention is elsewhere, i stop and ask him what he should be doing when i'm talking to him and he responds, 'Looking at you and listening'...and so i rate this 4 stars because the point came across.
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I absolutely love these books for my son. I have this for my four-year old and he really understands and identifies with RJ. My son is working on his listening skills and this provides a great vehicle for talking about listening and following directions. There is a contrast between RJ's worst day ever (not listening or following directions) and RJ's best day ever (following directions and listening the first time). Plus there are two clear and simple rhymes that really prove the point, which makes it very approachable for a young child. Highly recommend as a way to discuss listening and following directions with your child(ren).
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