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Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No…
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Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (original 1972; edition 2009)

by Judith Viorst, Ray Cruz (Illustrator)

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6,187342655 (4.28)72
Member:WendyBrown
Title:Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Authors:Judith Viorst
Other authors:Ray Cruz (Illustrator)
Info:Atheneum Books for Young Readers (2009), Edition: Spl Ltd, Hardcover, 32 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:Picture Book, bad day, childrens book

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Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst (1972)

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In this story, Alexander wakes up with gum in his hair. From the point on everything went wrong in Alexander's day! His foot gets smashed in the elevator door. Anthony made him fall in a mud puddle. Anthony makes fun of him so Alexander starts hitting him and his mom walks up and scolds him for it. Alexander keeps repeating, "It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day,” every time something bad happens to him. His mom explains to him that some days can be bad but not all days are bad.

My Reaction: I loved this book. It is true. We all have bad days sometimes.

Classroom Extension:
1. Have the students write about their own terrible horrible day. Their story will begin when they wake up in the morning and continues until they go to bed at night.
2. Have the students draw pictures of their terrible horrible day and then they can read their story to the class.
  AmberDimmitt | Oct 16, 2014 |
I enjoyed this read because it was very detailed and interesting. The author uses very vivid black and white illustrations that pan the entire page in order to show what the characters are doing. This book depicts the everyday challenges that kids face. Like falling asleep with gum in their hair, getting a bad packed lunch from mom, or running out of the house with "bad hair." This book is a great use of comparison to our very own lives.
  eoertl1 | Oct 15, 2014 |
I think this is a great book. It is an idea every child can relate to. How many times has your sibling gotten the best prize out of the cereal box or the better pair of shoes? Things like this have happened to every one of us.
The best part of the story is the illustrations. The pictures of Alexander’s face when things do not go his way are priceless. Ray Cruz does a great job coordinating the illustrations to the text. The best drawing is the one where the boys are in their father’s office and Alexander does everything he is not suppose to. Spills the ink and calls Australia on Dad’s phone. Dad says that he does not want them to come to the office again. Also the illustration of Alexander in the mud puddle and his brother calling him a crybaby is perfect. Here the illustrations really do help make the story funnier.
The best part of the writing is the repetitive sentence that Alexander says throughout the story, “I am having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.” This sets the tone for the story that tells the reader how things are going to go. . The when things seemed to get even worse for Andrew he says he will be moving to Australia next week. Although these problems do not seem monumental having them all happen in one day is crazy. Ms. Viorst does a great job making this story seems so serious for Andrew and humorous for the readers.
The story is in first person and told by Andrew. This makes a much more powerful and humorous. It is great when Andrew is telling about how his teacher likes his friend, Paul’s sailboat picture better than his indivisible castle picture. Then she says he sings too loud and he left sixteen out when counting. He then expands on his favorite sentence when he wishes that next time his best friend, Paul gets a double-decker strawberry ice cream cone that the ice cream part will fall off all the way to Australia. Andrew is a great character. ( )
  AlexWyatt | Oct 13, 2014 |
Alexander wakes up with gum in his hair and so begins a day wherein nothing can go right.

Even though this book is classic that has been in print since well before my birth, I actually never read it before this week when the child I was babysitting had checked it out of the library. So I do not have any nostalgic bond to it and my assessment of it is based entirely from the point of a view of an adult.

One thing I do really appreciate about this book is getting children thinking about their emotions -- and in particular, it lets kids know that it's okay to sometimes feel frustrated when things don't go way they way they expected or wish. Furthermore, the book reinforces that everyone has their bad days wherein it seems like everything goes wrong. I could see this book being used by parents or teachers to open up a discussion about their feelings or in conjunction with a lesson about emotions.

The downsides I saw were that the book didn't *quite* go far enough in then helping children deal with this heavy emotional stuff. Alexander starts off the day on a bad foot and no doubt his bad attitude follows him throughout the day, coloring the other events that occur. Sure, a lot of annoyances happen to him, but part of me felt like saying, "enough with the complaining already, kid" after a while. By the end of the book, he goes to bed with the feeling that tomorrow will be another "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day." It would have been nice if there was some bit of hope in the story, indicating that while, yes, everyone has their bad days, those bad days are usually a blip that are sandwiched in between good and great days.

The cadence of the book was very good for a read aloud, particularly with the repetition of the phrase "a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day." Viorst captures a young child's day well, including all the little things that could go wrong. The illustrations are finely etched with a good amount of details, but I personally would have preferred fully colored pictures as opposed to black and white pencil sketches. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Oct 11, 2014 |
Good for repetition and can used for text to self strategy and making connections ( )
  Bmazzola94 | Sep 26, 2014 |
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For Robert Lescher, with love and thanks.
First words
I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there's gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
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Book description
People of all ages have terrible, horrible days, and Alexander offers us the cranky commiseration we crave as well as a reminder that things may not be all that bad.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0689711735, Paperback)

"I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there's gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day."

So begin the trials and tribulations of the irascible Alexander, who has been earning the sympathy of readers since 1972. People of all ages have terrible, horrible days, and Alexander offers us the cranky commiseration we crave as well as a reminder that things may not be all that bad. As Alexander's day progresses, he faces a barrage of bummers worthy of a country- western song: getting smushed in the middle seat of the car, a dessertless lunch sack, a cavity at the dentist's office, stripeless sneakers, witnessing kissing on television, and being forced to sleep in railroad-train pajamas. He resolves several times to move to Australia.

Judith Viorst flawlessly and humorously captures a child's testy temperament, rendering Alexander sympathetic rather than whiny. Our hero's gum-styled hair and peevish countenance are artfully depicted by Ray Cruz's illustrations. An ALA Notable Book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a great antidote to bad days everywhere, sure to put a smile on even the crabbiest of faces. (Ages 5 to 9)

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:04:51 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

On a day when everything goes wrong for him, Alexander is consoled by the thought that other people have bad days too.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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