Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

10 06 2012

There really should be a picture book Hall of Fame.  Books like Where the Wild Things Are, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Goodnight Moon, and The Snowy Day have been around so long that the kids that read then when they were new are now reading them to their grand kids, and they don’t seem old – they’re just as good as ever.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is on that list for me too.

I hadn’t read that book since I was probably 6 years old, so reading it now, with my 6 year old son, gives me a whole new viewpoint of the book.

The story is simple.  Alexander is having an awful day.  A really, really awful day.  Not in the same way that a teenager or an adult can have a bad day, in the way that a 6 or 7 year old can have a bad day.  He wakes up with gum in his hair, his brothers get better prizes in their cereal, the carpool mom makes him sit in the middle seat, his teacher thinks someone else’s project is better than his, his brothers call him a crybaby, dinner is full of things like lima beans…

You get the idea.

As a 6th grader or an adult, you can look at Alexander’s problems and see how small they really are, but for a little kid, those problems, especially when they’re piled on top of one another, over and over and over… Well, it becomes a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.





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