Good News Bad News

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Good News Bad News Book Poster Image
Spare story of ups & downs great for toddlers, preschoolers.

Parents say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Kids learn the phrases "good news" and "bad news" and the difference in their meanings. 

Positive Messages

Good and bad depend on your perspective, your situation can change in an instant, hope springs eternal, and true friends can handle any bad news that comes along, as long as they stick together and make the best of it.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Rabbit is always optimistic, and Mouse tends to be pessimistic but can be quickly cheered up by good news. Rabbit always tries to make things better for Mouse, and, in the end, Mouse feels bad after yelling at Rabbit and sweetly cheers Rabbit up.

Violence & Scariness

An apple hits Mouse on the head, bees chase Mouse and Rabbit into a bear's cave, the bear chases the two, and all three animals are struck by lightning.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Good News Bad News is an artful, nearly wordless picture book (relying primarily on four words to tell all) that shows the ups and downs of a picnic adventure shared by two friends, the optimistic Rabbit and the often disppointed Mouse. It's action-packed, with minor mishaps and even a little real danger, as an apple bonks Mouse on the head, bees chase Mouse and Rabbit into a bear's cave, the bear chases the two, and all three animals are struck by lightning. Mouse yells in frustration but soon offers Rabbit some good news.

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What's the story?

GOOD NEWS BAD NEWS shows how things can go from carefree to crisis mode in an instant. This entertaining picture book features two friends, Rabbit and Mouse. Good news: Rabbit brings over a picnic basket. Bad news: It starts to rain. Good news: Rabbit picks up a fallen apple and gives it to Mouse. Bad news: Mouse finds a worm in it. And so on, until the two pals realize the \"very good news\" is that they stay friends, no matter what life throws at them.

Is it any good?

This nearly wordless story conveys so much with simple but highly expressive art. It captures each moment of exhilaration and disappointment as things go from good to bad to good again over and over during Rabbit and Mouse's picnic adventure. It also shows Mouse losing his temper, screaming at Rabbit, and then feeling bad about making Rabbit cry -- a good example of self-reflection and empathy. Mouse then becomes the one to offer Rabbit good news -- a renewed chance at a sunny picnic -- and the two hug in celebration of their resilient friendship.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how to make the best of a bad situation and not let bad news ruin your day.

  • How is author-illustrator Jeff Mack able to tell a whole story with so few words?

  • What are some examples of good news when you're playing with a friend?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love books with humor and empathy

Themes & Topics

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