A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
What a day! Alexander wakes up with gum in his hair and trips on his skateboard. His mom forgets to put dessert in his lunch box, and his dentist finds a cavity! Anyone who's ever had a day they'd rather forget will love this cleverly illustrated, laugh-out-loud account of one boy's day of misfortune.
Is it any good?
Alexander's day may be awful for him, but it is pure enjoyment for 5- to 9-year-olds. ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY scores high on the reality meter; just about any school-age child has had at least one terrible, horrible day. As a bedtime read for any kid who has just had one of those days, this one's a winner--it's almost guaranteed to chase away the blues. When it was read to a group of 5- and 6-year-olds, it was hard to tell who was having more fun, the adult reader or the audience of giggling kids.
The plot, though simple, presents an interesting take on everyday childhood problems. The text is written in a conversational style from the viewpoint of a young boy, so it's by far more entertainment than English lesson. Ray Cruz's black-and-white line drawings lend themselves well to the story's mood. Cruz has an undeniable knack for realism, and he captures Alexander's emotions wonderfully.