Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst and Ray Cruz

Anyone who has had days where nothing seems to go right, will be able to sympathise with the protagonist of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

From the moment Alexander wakes up in the morning (with gum in his hair), everything that can go wrong, does. Although nothing really bad happens, we can empathise with him as a string of bad luck and an unfortunate chain of events conspire to make his day a miserable one. At one point, he even hilariously declares that he wants to “move to Australia”, although he clearly has no clue where it is or what is there.


The old-fashioned illustrations are very charming and expressive, and the author did a great job in capturing the stream-of-consciousness style and unintentionally funny voice of Alexander — who is just a really misunderstood little boy on a bad day, to whom kids especially can relate. Also, it’s great that the book has no ‘happy ending’ per se — like in real life — only the comforting truth that everyone has good and bad days, even in Australia, and that we can and will get through them both — preferably with a sense of humour. No matter what kind of a day you’re having, reading this book will probably make you feel better.

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