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3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  374 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
"Terrific," says Eugene, after winning an all-expenses-paid vacation in Bermuda. "I'll probably get a really nasty sunburn." Unfortunately, Eugene's luck is a lot worse than that. First, his cruise ship sinks, then he ends up stranded on a tiny island. But Eugene isn't alone. There's another castaway, a parrot with a busted wing, who tells him what there is to eat and drin ...more
Hardcover, 30 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by Michael Di Capua Books
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(showing 1-30)
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Elizabeth Sherry
Sep 16, 2012 Elizabeth Sherry rated it liked it
This book would really grab the attention of older elementary children. This is mostly because of the sarcasm the book uses all the way though. At this age, children become more sarcastic and would find this book to be very funny. It would not appeal to younger elementary though, because they would not be able to understand the sarcasm and would be confused by the old mans language. The illustrations are very large and clear and show the old man's emotions very well, which for the most part is a ...more
Kristi Maurer
Jan 29, 2014 Kristi Maurer rated it it was amazing
Terrific is an entertaining book. Despite its predictability, I think children will love it. The book's main character is an elderly man that will cause many children to laugh. By the end of the book, he becomes a compassionate friend. It is a shorter book, with bold and colorful illustrations. It has both a plot and a theme. There is a great lesson for children (how a situation that seems negative can end positively). I would highly recommend this book for all ages. My seven year old daughter g ...more
Aug 30, 2014 Matthew rated it really liked it
Eugene is a sourpuss and revels in the miserable possibilities of whatever life sends his way, which only seems a little unreasonable considering his rotten luck with his cruise. When he meets a parrot stranded on the island he washes up on though, he's found a resilient spirit that refuses to dwell on the negative and instead solves every problem he encounters, with Eugene to do the heavy lifting. Eugene doesn't really change his tune but the parrot doesn't take any notice.

It isn't until Eugene
Miss Sarah
Jan 18, 2017 Miss Sarah rated it liked it
Eugene wins a free cruise but at every turn in his trip he complains about something. When his cruise ship is shipwrecked he lands on an island with a parrot. The parrot has a plan to get the two of them off the island but can Eugene stop complaining long enough. A little long but I might still push it with toddlers.
Joshua Cummins
Feb 06, 2013 Joshua Cummins rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-aloud
Protagonist Eugene's favorite phrase is "Terrific!", although he never actually means it. He has a negative outlook on everything. He wins an all-expenses-paid cruise to Bermuda and while most people's response would be very joyous and exciting, Eugene responds with "Terrific, I'll probably get a really nasty sunburn." On his way to Bermuda his ship runs into a terrible storm and crashes. Everyone is rescued but him. He washes up on a small deserted island. He then meets a parrot named Lenny who ...more
Aug 08, 2016 Heather rated it liked it
It is difficult to create a grumpy character that children will like, but Jon Agee succeeds. Eugene wins a cruise, but cannot be excited because he figures he will get a sunburn. "Terrific!" he says sarcastically to everything that happens. When he gets stranded on an island, Eugene meets a parrot named Lenny, who helps him build a boat that ultimately leads to his rescue. When Lenny turns out to belong to the crew that rescued him, Eugene is once again dismayed; however, when he realizes that L ...more
Oct 24, 2011 Esti rated it really liked it
This funny book about a pessimistic old man and a gregarious parrot will make both children and adults smile. Eugene, a grouchy fellow in a trench coat, wins an all-expenses-paid trip to Bermuda, but finds himself shipwrecked on a desert island (little to his surprise). With the help of a chatty parrot named Lenny, he builds a boat and is rescued, just as grouchy as before--until Lenny's friendship shakes him out of his habitual sarcasm.

Though at first glance the story may seem full of negativit
Amy Forrester
May 13, 2012 Amy Forrester rated it it was amazing
Eugene is the lucky winner of a trip cruise to Bermuda, “Terrific, I’ll probably get a really nasty sunburn.” He doesn’t quite make it to Bermuda because his ship sinks and he’s the only person who is not rescued. He washes up on a tiny island that’s completely uninhibited, except for a talking parrot that is also stuck on the island because of a hurt wing. The parrot convinces Eugene to build a boat, “Terrific, I’m going to permanently damage my lower back.” Their adventures together continue a ...more
Ally Copper
Throughout the picture book “Terrific” by Jon Agee, main character Eugene wears a sour expression and has a pessimistic attitude to match. Eugene has both good luck (winning an all-expenses paid cruise to Bermuda) and bad luck (ending up stranded on an island when the cruise ship sinks), but no matter what his circumstance, his sour expression remains. A sarcastic “terrific” is his response to every occurrence. On the island, Eugene meets a parrot with a can-do attitude who helps Eugene escape t ...more
Dec 28, 2016 Thabata rated it really liked it
Eugene Mudge is sarcastic and ill humored as hell – which is precisely what confers the charm and refreshing uniqueness to this character. After winning a cruise to Bermuda, the ship went through a terrible storm midway and-it-sank. Everyone was dutifully rescued except, of course, for Eugene, whose thought was that he was bound to be eaten by a shark (guess who watched too much Jaws or Discovery Channel?). Luck would have it otherwise. Instead of being eaten alive, Eugene became stranded in a s ...more
Jan 28, 2016 Jen added it
Shelves: picture-book
(2005) When grumpy Eugene wins a free cruise to Bermuda he replies, "Terrific. I'll probably get a really nasty sunburn." Little does Eugene know the adventures he is about to experience. On the way to Bermuda his cruise boat sinks, leaving Eugene stranded on an island with little food and a parrot named Lenny. The bird tells Eugene how to make a boat and soon the two are picked up by a fishing boat that takes them to Bermuda. Eugene feels sad when he discovers that his new friend, Lenny the par ...more
Mar 05, 2009 Sean rated it it was amazing
Genre: Picture Book
Age Level: Grades 1-3; Emergent
World View: White, no specific class
Theme: Friendship
Literary Elements:
In the Classroom:
Illustrations: Won the "New York Times: Best Illustrations" award, for a great use of action and emotion portraying Eugene and Lenny's sarcasm and friendship though the book.
Eugene's terrific dream vacation turns sour when a string of sarcastically terrific events unfold. His luck changes though when he meets Lenny, Eugene's only friend in the book. Eugene's
Samantha Kent
Apr 28, 2010 Samantha Kent rated it really liked it
Eugene won a cruise to Bermuda but he thought he would get a nasty sunburn then one day the ship ran into a nasty storm and he ended up on a tiny island. He thought that he would get eaten by cannibals. He meets a bird and they get off the island and back on the ship the bird is from when he gets back to land the bird decides he wants to go with him.

This book is a good example that everything has a good side even if you think that it is a bad thing. It teaches kids to look for the positive in ev
Yasmin Gomez Geng
Though not necessarily educational, this book shows an interesting perspective on what a friendship can be.

Eugene wins a trip to Bermuda but an interesting turn of events leaves him stranded on an island with a parrot. Eugene and the parrot become partners to leave the island. The story repeats the use of "terrific" but manages to give it a different meaning by the end of the book.

I love the simple illustrations. Yet the illustrator was able to give Eugene very obvious facial expressions.

Sep 05, 2013 Chuck rated it it was amazing
This book was wonderful a must read. This book is about a man named Eugene that never had a good outlook on life. He always sees the bad in everything. He wins a cruise and thinks of the sunburn and throughout the book he always sees the bad of everything. He meets a parrot that is helps him with plans to build a boat. They end up at the pier and in the end Lenny the parrot lands on his shoulder. Eugene looks and said Terrific
Judy Lindow
Feb 07, 2015 Judy Lindow rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Good book for shared reading as it's a larger book, with easy to see, colorful, comic-like crisp illustrations.

The final message is that making friends can make you happy. Also, that 'things aren't always as they appear to be', and that 'animals can be smart and friend worthy'. When reading to kids you may want make sure they understand that the main character is being sarcastic when he says "Terrific".

The letters are dark, large, and an easy to read font for early readers.

Sep 23, 2009 Cheryl rated it it was ok
This is the story of Eugene, who wins a free cruise to Bermuda which turns out to be one disaster after another. He finally gets rescued from a tiny island with the help of a talking parrot. Given the number of awards this book won, I was a little disappointed.

Fantasy; 2005; ALA Notable Book for Children, Notable Books of the English Language Arts, Horn Book Fanfare, New York Times Best Illustrated
Kathy Ellen Davis
Mar 10, 2013 Kathy Ellen Davis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
What a fun book!
The main character says, "Terrific" then starts complaining, in every situation he's in, even when it's an awesome situation!

Throw in a talking bird and a desert island and you'll have a good fun time!

I like the illustrations in this book and how at every moment it feels like the book can go in any direction.
It feels unpredictable, but you trust that the story will resolve itself and you'll be satisfied at the end.

I can imagine that would be a tough line to toe!
Dec 02, 2008 Amanda rated it liked it
Shelves: kid-s-books
This is a cute story about a pessimist who finds an unlikely friend. While it may not be easy for kids to understand, specifically toddlers, it's a good story anyway. I like the architectural drafting quality of the illustrations (and really dig the accurate and detailed sailboat diagram). Z Goes Home (also by Jon Agee) was more fun for my letter-crazed son, but this one we can come back to in a few years when he can better understand connotation.
Emily Goodin
Mar 24, 2011 Emily Goodin rated it did not like it
I hated this book! The old man is grumpy and there isn't a very obvious theme in it! The only themes I could really find were "opposites attract"-because the grumpy old man and the cheery parrot become good friends-and "self-conflict"-because the old man obviously has some internal reasons for his behavior! I don't think I would use it in classroom at all.
Aug 20, 2013 Jackie rated it really liked it
Eugene is a curmudgeonly old man who has just won a trip to Bermuda. You WOULD think this was a good thing, but Eugene finds plenty of reasons why it isn't. All of his grumpiness lands him shipwrecked and on a deserted island in the company of one feisty parrot named Lenny. Lenny turned out to be just the best friend a man could want....Terrific!
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Mar 01, 2011 Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy) rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
I liked this one but wondering who the real audience is?! Eugene is a bit pessimistic and gets stranded on a deserted island and meets Lenny a parrot. With Lenny's help, Eugene gets off the island. When Eugene gets rescued he tries to explain about Lenny and they don't believe him. The final ending wrap up is fun but still wondering who the audience is.
May 03, 2011 Robin rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books, humor
Eugene is an eternal pessimist -- when he wins a cruise, he says "I'll probably get a really nasty sunburn." Turns out he is stranded on a desert island after a terrible storm, but fortunately there is a knowledgeable parrot to help him out. Really very funny, slightly droll story, and in the end, things do turn out to be terrific.
Jan 19, 2011 Libby rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
Jon Agee books tend to be hit-or-miss with me, and this one was a hit! A tall tale about a man whose numerous misfortunes (winning a trip to Bermuda, being shipwrecked, finding a talking parrot...) lead to a friendship with the above-mentioned parrot. The title comes from the man's (usually sarcastic) exclamation at each new development.
Mar 22, 2008 Patricia rated it really liked it
This is a picture book with great illustrations. It's the story of Eugene, who wins a trip to Bermuda. "Terrific," is his reaction, "I'll probably get a sunburn." He doesn't but something worse happens. I read it to a K/1 class on Read Across America day and they liked it though not as much as I did.
Aug 05, 2015 Cait rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
I love this book. We found it for an "Around the World" summer camp for the country Bermuda. It doesn't really talk about Bermuda, but the story itself is cute, and it can definitely lead into a conversation about sarcasm!
Taylor Johnson
This was an okay book that would grap the attention of older elementary because of the sarcasm used through out. It was not a favorite but would be good to teach the value of having a positive attitude.
Brandi S
Oct 11, 2013 Brandi S rated it it was ok
This would have to be my least favorite book that I have read so far for my children's literature class. I can see how it could be used to teach students about inference and patterns; however, I just did not find Eugene's sarcasm that endearing!
The Brothers
A rather sarcastic man - who always mutters "Terrific!" no matter what the scenario - gets shipwrecked after a failed attempted to vacation on a cruise. On the deserted island, he comes across a parrot who instructs him how to build a raft to save them both.

Good illustrations.
Megan Fulkerson
Dec 12, 2016 Megan Fulkerson rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
Terrific would be a fun book to use to teach prediction. Having students write what they thing is going to happen at various points throughout the reading and sharing what they think could help the classroom atmosphere.
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