today’s children storybook summary is
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, Not Good, Very Bad Day
By Judith Viorst
Illustration by Ray Cruz
Storyline: Alexander is having a very bad day. In fact, it is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, as he says. It starts early in the morning when he noticed gum in his hair because he had gone to sleep with gum in his mouse (a very bad idea, I should say). From then on, nothing is as it supposed to be. He gets clumsy and has few little incidents and accidents, and doesn’t find a toy in the cereal box (bad luck). He’s day go so wrong that he wants to move in Australia.
As he carpools to school, he doesn’t get the preferred seat by the window even if he complains very loud. At school, his invisible castle picture gets overlooked by his teacher (no wonder) adding this to his misery. And it doesn’t get better, but worse. At counting, he skips number 16 because, he says, no one needs it, sings too loud, and he falls way down on Paul’s best friends list, to which he says very mean things as a result. Again, he’s thinking to move in Australia.
As the day goes on, so the misfortunes, even after school. From finding a cavity on a tooth, through a incident at the elevator and a fall in a puddle of mud, Alexander doesn’t get any breaks. Bad decisions, misfortune and grumpiness make Alexander feel like moving to Australia. Maybe there they’d let the kids playing with the copying machine or they won’t show kissing on TV (because he hates kissing on TV), or they don’t serve lima beans for dinner, or the bath water would be just the right temperature. He wants to go to Australia forever.
However, right now, Alexander must go to sleep. It has been a long terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. But as he goes to bed, he bits his tongue, he loses his pillow, and the cat moves to his brother’s bed. What a disaster. Even in Australia, says his mom, same days can be like that.
Characters: Alexander, Anthony, Nick, Mrs. Gibson, Mrs. Dickens, Paul, Philip Parker, Albert Moyo, Dr. Fields, mother, dad.
Illustration: Ray Cruz is the illustrator of this book. The drawing is black and white, elaborated, full details that enriches every scene. The characters are ordinary looking children and adults, except for Alexander, the main character, who always has a frown on his face. Sometimes you can feel his pain and his grumpiness. Overall, a classic illustration, without the jingles and glitters of the more modern ones.
Recommended Age: 5 – 9
Reading Time: 5 minutes
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