Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

The first line of this picture book is one of my favorite first lines of all time: 

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.

Haven’t you had a day like that?  This one line really sets the scene for the rest of the book.  Alexander woke up so grumpy, his sentence doesn’t even have punctuation!

Published in 1972, written by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Ray Cruz, this book is still relevant today.  I first bought it for my older son, now 8, the spring before he started kindergarten.  He had been very emotional and displaying a lot of anger, but couldn’t talk about his feelings or the reasons for those feelings.  I spoke to our local librarian about books that dealt with emotions and she recommended this marvelous book.  Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, along with Mercer Mayer’s I Was So Mad and Betsy Everitt’s Mean Soup, really helped us a lot.

Now I read it to my younger son who is about to start kindergarten and who is experiencing similar anxiety, although displayed in a different way.  This child has become clingier.  He claims to miss me anytime I go anywhere, including when I leave him alone in his own bed at night.  Multiple sighs.

Expect posts soon on books to help prepare you child for kindergarten (I’ll take recommendations)!

What books have helped you and your children get through a difficult or unusual time?

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5 Responses to Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

  1. Susanna says:

    Oh, Brooke – if you haven’t read The Kissing Hand it’s a must 🙂

  2. lbdiamond says:

    LOL! I love the opening lines!

  3. Catherine Johnson says:

    That is a great opening line. I’m trying to remember a kindergarten book. I’ll let u know. My kids have both had clingy stages.

  4. Mine was the Katy series.

  5. I was going to say the kissin hand too. A friend of mine bought it for my son when he was starting pre-school.

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