Post first published in my personal newsletter
This book was recommended to me by a close friend. "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" was his favorite kids book growing up and he wanted to know what I thought of it. I hope you enjoy my over analyzation of this book. Thank you, Brad, for the suggestion.
Everybody has bad days, This is no surprise. in order to have good days, we will always need a bad day to remind us how good we have it. Knowing this, it's how you handle that day that will make the day what it is. Enjoy your struggle, it makes you stronger.
I will admit, Alexander has a bad day in this book. I thought for sure this book would be plump full of Alexander making his own bad luck. and whining his way through the book. I think I just assumed because the last kids book I read was Where the wild things are (and that kid's a brat). There are moments of his own bad luck, but for the most part he really does get left out and has a bad day. There is the moment he wakes up with gum in his hair because he slept with gum in his mouth. but there are also less controllable moments like not having his shoe size at the store. That is what makes this story good.
Real life leaves us stranded often. many times bad luck comes to us with no other choice but to accept it. But who ever says we have to sulk in our bad luck. Who says we have to dwell in our defeat. Isn't it better and more fun to forget it and move on?
Change what you can and don't worry about the rest.
This has been written many times, and its a lot easier to write than to practice. That being said, it is great advice. If something happens TO YOU that you can not change, change your mind. Accept it for what it is or distract yourself. Either will lead to a better day.
The illustration is technically good, created in the early 70s I can forgive the awful color scheme on the cover and blame it on trends of the time. If this artwork was enjoyable for kids when it came out I can understand that but It doesn't hold up as a kids medium.
The book consists of a unique art style and would work well as an editorial cartoons. It might even be acceptable for kids if produced with color, but I can't see it interesting many kids in 2016.
That being said, there is a LOT OF GOOD going in here too. This books illustrations show great emotion and include great detail with an amazing amount of cross-hatching. Rey Cruz did a brilliant job with the inks. he just needed a colorist to make everything pop!
Overall this book is great and teaches a great lesson. Your bad day is all about perspective. so the next time you find yourself having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, try your best to look for the good things, and realize it was bound to happen eventually.
Next week we will be reviewing another request.
The "Giving Tree" by one of my favorite authors Shel Silverstein.
have a good week!
Designer & Illustrator