We’ve all had bad days, and one of the worst parts about them is the feeling that nothing is ever going to go right again. Perhaps we should all just move to Australia…where a bad day might get turned upside down and into a good day? Wouldn’t that be nice…but author Judith Viorst understands that sometimes moving to the other side of the world just isn’t possible, so she brings another great comfort. Alexander. And he can relate to us readers having a bad day-because he’s had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day himself.
Alexander wakes up one morning for school with gum in his hair. Than he trips over his skateboard, and drops his sweater into the sink with the water still running. It’s not a good way to start the day. From there things just keep on going downhill for Alexander, even when things seem like they can’t get any worse, they somehow do. His brothers find cool prizes in their cereal, Alexander finds cereal. He gets smoshed into the car without getting a window seat on the way to school, and his best friend Phil has decided that really Alexander is only his third best friend, not his first. His teacher doesn’t like his invisible castle drawing, he can’t get the sneakers he wants because they’re all out, he finds out he has a cavity…overall Alexander is having a monster of a bad day. Will he turn it around?
There are some people who strongly dislike this book. They feel it sends a negative message to children, as Alexander complains about his bad day and never really switches around his attitude. I happen to like that. Kids are not so fragile that you have to shelter them from the reality of a bad day, sure changing attitude can help, but sometimes days are just so terrible not even that will do. I find that young readers enjoy reading about Alexander’s plight because it’s not only something they can relate to, but it doesn’t coddle them in the sense that the main character magically changes his tune and ends up having a great day-instead it remains pretty bad. In reality, some days are just like that. Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days happen, even in Australia.
Ray Cruz does the illustrations for this book. They’re detailed and black and white, with the exception of the limited edition that just came out. In the limited edition, Alexander is in color while everything else remains black and white. The facial expressions in particular are quite wonderful…even without color it’s easy to tell by his face that Alexander is not having a good day.
Not Terrible Or Horrible
This is an equally entertaining read for adults and children alike. It’s nice, especially for young ones who might not realize as much, to know that horrible days happen to everyone, everywhere in the world. Give this book a try, it’s defiantly a fun one…well …fun for us, maybe not so much for Alexander.