Book Review By: Michelle Springer

Bibliographical Data:

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Author: Judith Viorst
Illustrator: Ray Cruz
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers June 1972
Format: Hardcover $11.24 (Barnes and Noble)
ISBN: 0-689-30072-7
Reading level: Grade 2+
Pages: 32
Language: English


Alexander woke up one morning and knew that he was going to have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day when he woke up and had gum in his hair, dropped in shirt in the sink with the water running and didn’t find a toy in his cereal box and all of his other siblings found toys. Alexander wanted to move to Australia. Alexander then goes on to tell how every part of his day turned out to be horrible, in the car ride to school he had to sit in the middle and was squashed the whole time, in school his teacher said that he forgot 16 during counting time and that he was singing too loud during singing time. His day just kept getting worse, Paul said that he wasn’t his best friend anymore and his mother forgot to put dessert in his lunchbox. Alexander kept saying that he was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. After school he had to go to the dentist and he was the only one with a cavity, and at the shoe store they were only sold out of the shoes that he wanted. Alexander continues to show how he was having a terrible, horrible, no good very bad day. That night after dinner and bath time he told his mother that he was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day and he told him that some days are like that, even in Australia.

Book Review:

I absolutely adore this book! Everyone no matter how old you are can relate to this book, everyone has terrible horrible, no good, very bad days every now and then. It sends a very great message to children and adults reading this book, it doesn’t matter where you live people will always have a bad day. The story is very cute and the illustrations add so much to the books humor.

About the Author:

Judith Viorst was born in the United States on February 3, 1931. She started her writing career writing children’s books. A lot of the books that she wrote deal with issues that children face in a humors manor. Some of the children’s books that she wrote were I’ll Fix it Anthony, Try again, Sam: Safety When you Walk, The Tenth Good Thing About Barney, this book deals with the pain of losing a pet. A lot of the books that she wrote were also based on her three sons, Anthony, Nicholas and Alexander. She also wrote books for adults too, including nonfiction psychology books.

Literary Element Analysis:

The literary element that stands out in this book are the illustrations, they are astonishing. Ray Cruz does an amazing job. The illustrations are detailed in black and white, while alexander is in color. This is a great way of highlighting the main character of the book especially when trying to convey emotion. The illustrations of this book also do a great job using facial expressions and body language to show that Alexander is indeed having a bad day. With a story that is focusing so much on emotion and feelings the illustrations do a great job expressing how the characters are feeling.