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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  457 ratings  ·  90 reviews

Fortunately, Ned was invited to a surprise party.

Unfortunately, the party was a thousand miles away.

Fortunately, a friend loaned Ned an airplane.

Unfortunately, the motor exploded.

Fortunately, there was a parachute in the airplane.

Unfortunately, there was a hole in the parachute.

What else could go wrong as Ned tries to get to the party? Readers will cheer as Ned's luc

Paperback, 48 pages
Published March 31st 1993 by Aladdin Paperbacks (first published 1964)
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Lisa Vegan
Nov 16, 2009 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: glass half empty types who have a sense of humor; kids with birthdays; everybody
Recommended to Lisa by: Chandra
Ha ha ha ha ha. Oh, How I love this book. It had been lost in my sea of to-read books until a (non-Goodreads) friend mentioned it to me last night. Fortunately, my branch library had a copy on their shelves and I borrowed it this morning. (Unfortunately, I’ll have to return the book since the library owns it and I don’t own a copy.)

I think this book is hilarious. The story with happenings that go between fortunately and unfortunately (good luck vs. bad luck) is very funny and the accompanying il...more
The main character Ned is a fortunate individual when he receives an invitation to a surprise party. However, as he endeavors to attend the party, fortune is not always his friend. A fantastic journey ensues as Ned encounters a connected string of situations that alternate between impeding or advancing his mission. Illustrations mirror these varying circumstances: full color spreads pleasantly depict fortunate events while black and white images portray unfortunate circumstances. So consistent i...more
Fortunately the illustrations switch from color to black and white.
Unfortunately the illustrations look a little dated.
Fortunately the book shows opposites in a very clear way.

Overall, a cute book and so beloved that it has been reprinted since 1961.
Sarah Sammis
Remy Charlip is a choreographer, dancer, poet, artist and children's book author. He's also one of my favorite authors of children's books.

His books are surreal and playful. Fortunately builds on a series of events much like The House the Jack Built nursery rhyme. Each new event poses a new problem that requires a solution. The problem comes with "unfortunately" and the solution is provided with "fortunately."

The basic story follow's Ned's travels from New York to Florida to attend a party he ha...more
I love this book. What a good idea, what a good drawing of sharks at the chase (and tigers crouching through a hole underground). What a shame that Remy Charlip had the idea in 1964, before I was even a gleam in my father's crew cut.

My 4 year old loves it, but I decided to ask him what "fortunately" means. His answer: "Like us." Huh, said I? What does unfortunately mean? "Black [and white]." In other words, he inferred from the illustration switches that is what these words mean! ("Like us," mea...more
Just read this book and am sending to my brother-in-law Ned. My husband said that Ned had this book when he was a child and wanted to send it to him to bring back childhood memories. Ned, in this children's book navigates the ups and downs of life with resourcefulness and this would be a great read for any child passed the age of 5.
Fortunately, this book was fantastic!
Unfortunately, we have to return it to the library.

My kids and I LOVED this book. It just fits our sense of humor. This is one I'd love to own.
This is lots of fun for kids. I'm going to use June's ideas of explaining the word and thumbs up/down
Miss Jessica
I wish this book were three times as long, because it's kinda hilarious and messed up.
I first encountered this book at an elementary school where students had written and illustrated their own Fortunately / Unfortunately scenario and they were displayed on the hall wall. What a terrific prompt for creative writing!

It works well in a pre-school story time at the library and was an ideal addition to our theme of FALLING this week. We have two story performers. One did the FORTUNATELY pages and the other did the UNFORTUNATELY pages while leading the children in pantomimes of swimmin...more
Amy Musser
Ned is an extremely lucky or unlucky person; it all depends on how you look at it. He’s very fortunate to be invited to a surprised party…unfortunately the party is in faraway Florida and Ned is in New York! Every step in Ned’s journey to the party is riddled with flip-flopping luck. His friend loans him an airplane, but the motor explodes. He lands safely in the water, but there are sharks! Finally, Ned arrives at the party. “And fortunately the party was for him, because fortunately it was his...more
Shoshana G
This book, alternating between the fortunate and unfortunate things befalling Ned on his way to a party in Florida, is very funny, but I worry that the illustrations are too dated too appeal to most kids. I'm definitely going to try it at an upcoming storytime though, just to see how it goes!
Fun,if slightly, dark children's book written and illustrated as if by Wes Anderson. I'd be curious if Wes Anderson was inspired by this.
Benji Martin
This book is a perfect read aloud for younger grades. It's pretty funny.
Apr 10, 2014 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a very strange, but entertaining tale that follows a young man as he transitions from one very unlikely situation to another. The narrative is engaging, but the illustrations are a bit rudimentary for my taste.

Still, it's a humorous tale and we enjoyed reading it together. It reminded us of the story Suddenly! by Colin McNaughton.
Jan 16, 2013 June rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: librarians, parents, teachers
Recommended to June by: Peggy
Told in alternating spreads of Ned's adventures after he fortunately receives a birthday invitation, unfortunately he is in New York and the party is in Florida. I usually start be asking if anyone knows what "fortunately" means and then tell them unfortunately means something bad happens. I then have them put thumbs up for the good things and thumbs down for the bad. 1/9/12

Used this again for my birthday/MLK program. One mother liked it so much she took it to check out.
preso in biblioteca

Un libretto sui casi della vita?
Una quasi-filastrocca per far ridere il pupo?

Sfortunatamente questo libretto (pubblicazione numero 100 per Orecchio Acerbo) mi ha lasciata abbastanza indifferente, nonostante le belle illustrazioni, nonostante la storiella divertente.
Fortunatamente insieme a questo libro mi è arrivato anche "Il signor coccodrillo ha molta fame" (sempre Orecchio acerbo), che invece mi è piaciuto un sacco!!! ;)
Kelly Sommers
This book was a pattern book. It went through one page saying fortunately and then on the next page said unfortunately, it followed that pattern throughout the whole book. Ned traveled from New York to Florida for a surprise party. On his way there, good and bad luck followed him. There were not many words per page which made it good for early to mid grade schoolers. This story will keep kids laughing and entertained.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I remembered reading this as a child although I didn't remember it much. My three-year-old son loved it! It made him laugh, and also taught him the meaning of the word "fortunately." I like the alternating use of color illustrations for the "fortunately" pages and the black-and-white for the "unfortunately" pages. Also the simple, humorous text and illustrations.
A good way to teach the concepts of fortunately and unfortunately. And the alternating pictures were had a lot of good details (the frowny face on the clock on the second page was my favorite). The unfortunate situations are somewhat dark and surprising which was fun. But somehow it didn't really grab me--I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend this book.
One of my all time favorite books. Will things ever go right in this book? I love the idea of this story, while the illustrations are a bit dated for this 1964 book, the humor will never wane.

I'm pairing this with a book called "The End" by David LaRochelle to read to the local kindergarteners who I think will get the humor of both the books.
Russ (Louisville)
Teaches the meaning of 'fortunately' and 'unfortunately' to early grades, but thought it was pretty unimaginative. The alternating colored and black and white might help reinforce the lesson. Plane crashes, pitchforks, shark and tiger attacks? Probably wouldn't be one of my first choices to read to my class.
I can't believe I've never reviewed this before! We check it out regularly from the library. It's a read aloud delight. Young children love it. The illustrations are black and white on the "unfortunately" pages and bright colors on the "fortunately" pages which just add to the flip-flop action. Humorous.
I have loved this book since I was younger than I could read. Every page is fun and leaves you wondering...uh-oh, what's going to happen next and how will it end happily? Very adventurous things happen--the kind of things kids day dream about but most likely won't occur.
A very funny picture book about a boy named Ned on his way to a surprise party. Kids will love this book and laugh out loud! The fortunate or positive things that happen are in color, while the negative or unfortunate things are in black & white to differentiate. Ages 4-8.
It's hard not to give this five stars because I loved it so much as a child. But, with adult eyes, I guess it's more of a "4". The pictures are a bit outdated, but I still love the idea of this "good news/bad news" book. The events are so random but somehow it all works!
An ok, short read. I like the contrasting between the fortunate and the unfortunate situations. Though I didn't really like how dire some of the unfortunate instances may be to young, young kids: possibility of landing on a pitch fork?? all these sharks chasing you.
This one was a lot of fun. Ned's luck changes from page to page, and the concepts of "fortunately" and "unfortunately" are reinforced through the illustrations. When Ned has bad luck, the pictures are in gray scale. Would be a great readaloud.
Becky H.
Jul 26, 2008 Becky H. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: early readers
Shelves: picture-books
Classic. I think most of us read this in elementary school, but if you didn't it is fun to go back to. Very simple cause and affect story or (as I like to look at it) a way to see the positive in a day that things will not go according to plan.
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Abraham 'Remy' Charlip (born January 10, 1929) is an American artist, writer, choreographer, theatre director, designer, and teacher.

He studied art at Straubenmuller Textile High School in Manhattan and fine arts at Cooper Union in New York, graduating in 1949.

In the 1960s, Charlip created a unique form of choreography, which he calls "air mail dances". He sends a set of drawings to a dance compan...more
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“Do not confront me with my failures, I have not forgotten them. - Nico (Royal Tenenbaums)” 2 likes
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