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

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4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  108,898 ratings  ·  1,608 reviews
He could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. He went to sleep with gum in his mouth and woke up with gum in his hair. When he got out of bed, he tripped over his skateboard and by mistake dropped his sweater in the sink while the water was running. He could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
It was a terrib...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published June 1972 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 1972)
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Philip
I bought this book in 1989. Well, my parents bought it for me. There's a half-peeled-off sticker that says, MY BOOK in red bubble/block lettering with "Philip" scrawled on the name line. I was in first grade.

I loved this book as a kid.

I read it tonight to my daughters for the first time. I'm pretty sure they didn't understand the message that everybody has bad days, no matter where you are, but it was fun reading to them - all tucked in and what not.

It was a nice piece of nostalgia for me, as we...more
Ben
"Some days are like that... Even in Australia."

This is one of those books that has so many levels (like a parfait, or an onion). It begs for multiple readings. On one level it is the story of Alexander, an ordinary kid whose day doesn't go as he wants it to. Yet it is also a treatise on the human condition - our selfishness and self-centeredness, the travails and hardships that assail each person's life, and the resolute courage needed to stand our ground and live our lives where we find ourselv...more
midnightfaerie
Not so much for preschool because it's a more formulated story and it's in black and white, but my 5 yr old loves it. About a boy who just has a bad day, something any kid can relate to. A great story.
Ronyell
Alexander

“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” (whew what a title) is a children’s book by Judith Viorst along with illustrations by Ray Cruz and it is about how a young boy named Alexander who ends up having a terrible day. “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” is truly one of the most memorable books ever created!

I have clearly enjoyed this book as Judith Viorst has done a great job at writing this book and Ray Cruz’s illustrations also contribute greatl...more
Maria
Sep 26, 2011 Maria rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: yes
Recommended to Maria by: Teachers in my first elementary school.
This picturebook is famous among teachers. The story is about a naughty boy who describes how his day went from morning to night time. Alexander, the youngest boy in the story, and the narrator as well, had to endure bad incidents in school, at the dentist office, with his brothers and mom while shopping for shoes, at his Dad’s office, and back at home. I have to admit there is humor in all these bad things happening to this boy throughout the day. I connect to the story because I have two boys...more
Magpie67
Truly the best children's book out there.... I first read this book when I was in elementary school and since then have read it multiple times to my children, the children I babysat and today to my mentee, a fifth grader who had never heard of the book before I mentioned it. I will never forget the day I walked into my Chemistry class quoting "I'm having a terrible, horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" and have my partner finish it with me.... Kindred spirits. I use this phrase on those days when li...more
Amy
I don't understand why this book is a classic or well-liked. It's actually about a horrible boy, who therefore has a horrible day. He probably has many horrible days because he's a bad kid. He's a brat. He doesn't like his breakfast; he doesn't like his lunch; he doesn't do his homework; he's mean to his friends; he hits his siblings; and then we're supposed to feel sorry he had a bad day? Of course he had a bad day. I don't think its a good book for kids to read and I refuse to read it to my 3...more
Mccalla

I read the book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. It was about a young boy named Alex who wakes up to a start of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day! He didn't get the window seat on the way to school and forgot the number sixteen during counting time. It gets worse, his mom forgot to pack him a dessert and took them to the dentist after school. Alex learns that moving to Australia would not solve his problems. Every once in a while you just se...more
Oliver Radtke
I am reading “Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day” by Judith Viorst. The book is about a young boy named Alexander. His bad day starts when he wakes up with gum in his hair from when he was sleeping. Many bad things happened to this kid that makes it a bad day. Some examples are, not getting a toy from the cereal box, losing his best friend, not getting what he wanted in his lunch box, and he did not get the shoes with the stripe on it that he wanted.

I did not like this...more
Miranda Potratz
I enjoyed reading the book “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”. This story is about a boy named Alexander who has a very bad day. Things like waking up with gum in his hair, losing his best friend, getting a cavity, falling in mud, and even accidently trashing his dads office at work are some of the unfortunate events Alexander goes through in one day. From the second he wakes up to the minute he goes to bed nothing seems to go right for him.

The characters in this stor...more
❀УᗩᔕᗰᎥИƎ❀
There's always that one book that you constantly read over and over again as a child. For me, this was it.
Shelley
We read this one last night. It is one of our favorite books. It SO reminds me of my youngest daughter. She is so melodramatic and has those days when she feels like EVERYONE is picking on her and her sisters are getting EVERYTHING! :) Especially the cereal. As a parent of three you have to make hard choices- 1) Buy the cereal with no toys that tastes like cardboard flakes or 2) Hide the cereal until you have time to get the toy out, re-seal the box, and then pretend the company left the toy out...more
Kawsor Shepu
Title: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Author: Viorst Judith

In this story the author takes us through a day in the life of a boy called Alexander. But this is no ordinary day. It’s one of those days that we have all had and we all try to avoid. Alexander woke up with bubble gum stuck in his hair and he could already tell that “It was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day!”
Just as Alexander expected, the day was not getting any better for him. This sto...more
Riley Conway
Narrated by our protagonist, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst (illustrated by Ray Cruz), demonstrates the many perils of childhood, like tripping, getting gum in your hair, and not getting the prize out of the cereal box. Fortunately, Alexander has a plan--a remedy--that pops up as an amusing refrain throughout the story: he's going to move to Australia. Before the story—and the day—comes to a close, Alexander’s best friend demotes him, he fails to imp...more
Jeannie
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Judith Viorst, Ray Cruz (illustrator), (Aladdin Paperbacks, 1972), 32p. Picture Book

Genre- Contemporary

Summary - This story is an account of a day in the life of a young boy named Alexander. We chuckle sympathetically as Alexander experiences a day in which nothing goes his way from sun-up to sundown.

Critique:
(a) The strength and humor of this story comes through the voice of Alexander.
(b) The use of run-on sentences, irrational respo...more
Baylee Washburn
The many disappointments and unfortunate events that Alexander encounters in this story are realistic and authentic to young readers who encounter this book. The book uses repetitive phrases such as “It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day,” that allow listeners to become active in the reading when hearing this story read aloud. This repetition used in the story also contributes to reading ease and ties together the many terrible, horrible events that occur in the story. Additionally,...more
Holly Heuglin
"Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day," by Judith Viorst, is an extremely relatable story for many children. Alexander is just having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, and awful things have happened to him! He woke up with no toy in his cereal, yet his brothers found some in theirs. His teacher admired his classmate's drawing, but certainly not his invisible castle on HIS paper. He wasn't able to get tennis shoes with stripes on them, but his brothers were. It w...more
Lisa
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day By: Judith Viorst ISBN: 978-0689711732, 1987. Alexander’s day starts out bad from the moment he wakes up! He wakes up to find gum in his hair, he tripped on his skateboard and then dropped his sweater in the sink! His brothers don’t make life any easier for him either!...School is no better and then the dentist is horrible, he gets the elevator door shut on him and he doesn’t get the good shoes at the shoe store! And it’s not over yet!....more
Becca
I’ve never met a child that does not love this book. It is funny and touchingly honest and skilfully told from the viewpoint of a child having a rotten day. But the message is so universal that I also can’t think of a single adult who
couldn’t thoroughly relate as well. Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day continues to be a classic in my family, now fully grown. Whenever one of my adult siblings is going through a particularly rough experience—be it at work or in marriage or...more
Judy

Some days are like that, and I guess they are. I can see how it could relate to kids after a bad day. I am unsure if it would be my choice to read to them on a truly horrible day. But let's face it, if a kid picks a favourite book and it connects with them, go with it.

I have been reading my way through a list of 9 Lessons of Life Everyone Can Learn From Classic Children's Books. Sat and read it in the library. I have always loved the children's section in libraries. All the books are so invitin...more
Analissa Cox
I thought that the book entertaining and I loved it. It was funny in a dry, sarcastic kind of way. The author didn't push a moral at the readers, or say that Alexander's day would get better or that he should cheer up. She allowed for him to have a bad day, which everyone knows happens sometimes. The text of the story is written as if a young child is telling you the story of his "horrible, no good, very bad day" directly, so the text has some run-on sentences and improper grammar as if a child...more
Jonathan Ryal
What a great book. I can't think of a time I didn't enjoy reading this book as it is something we have all experienced regardless of our age and gender. This story takes us in and out of our daily routines. It’s about a boy who from the moment he wakes up until he lays down for bed has everything go against him and wrong. I also liked how things were not magically fixed at the end of the story. It gave us a real life feeling that things don’t always go our way and we have to deal with that. Alth...more
Christine Berger
I know this is a beloved classic, but I just didn't care for it. I think my kid just takes it literally, that this boy is having a bad day and nothing is fair, and sympathizes with him. But from an adult's perspective, he's an obnoxious little whiner who resorts to saying mean things and hitting, plus he does a lot of blaming his mom for things that don't go right ("guess whose mom forgot dessert?") which sets a disrespectful example. I think by the time a kid gets old enough for the intended me...more
Williams.amymichelle
I am completely indifferent to this book, which I only revisited as part of a project. I'm more amused by the fact that the reviews are as long or longer than the book itself. Self-important much, readers?
Ann
I absolutely loved this book as a kid, and reading it again as an adult did not disappoint!

This short tale is exactly what the title indicates: Alexander's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

We've probably all had them, those days when absolutely everything goes wrong. When you're just in a foul mood from the start and everything that happens from sun up to sun down seems to make it worse. Well, that's pretty much what happens to Alexander (and to top it off, no one seems to care).

The m...more
Tara
I've loved this book since I was a kid. And as an adult, I think I love it even more!
Julia Stevens
Fun to read. Easy to predict. Shows your students that EVERYBODY has off days.
Yzobelle
This is hilarious! .... But soooo true!

The moral of the story is simple: a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day can happen wherever you are ... whether you are in the biggest city in America or in the tiniest town in Africa ... whether you are in the company of your loved ones or with complete strangers ... whether you are at the top of a mountain or at the bottom of the sea. Your day turns out how you choose to see it. It's the classic half-empty-or-half-filled-glass dilemma.

Another amazi...more
Karly Kovac
I absolutely LOVE this book! This book was my favorite when I was really young and reading it now brought back a lot of memories. It is humorous, and it really makes you think that things aren't that bad and could be way worse. The way Alexander talks is funny and the things he considers bad are funny as well. I think it is cute that he wants to move to Australia but at the end of the book his mom tells him that sometimes people have bad days, even in Australia. It really makes you think that th...more
Danielle
I still find myself mumbling to myself about "this is turning out to be a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" when things are not going my way. I feel a tiny bit better when I say it! So even if it only gives a child a fabulous vocabulary for describing when everything is cattywampus and at odds with their desires, this book is a worthwhile read, and is also a good way to start talking about frustrations and how children (and adults) respond when we're faced with Terrible, Horrible, No Go...more
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Judith Viorst is the author of several works of fiction and non-fiction for children as well as adults. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, her most famous children's book, was first published in 1972 and has since sold over two million copies. Ms. Viorst received a B.A. in History from Rutgers University, and she is also a graduate of the Washington Psychoanalytic Institu...more
More about Judith Viorst...
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“I think I'll move to Australia.” 54 likes
“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.” 37 likes
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