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4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  840 Ratings  ·  114 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 it was amazing  ·  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
Feb 21, 2012 Emily rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
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
Manik Sukoco
Jan 01, 2016 Manik Sukoco rated it really liked it
I have read this to my Kindergarten classes. The kids love this book. It is a fun way to teach the meaning of the words "Fortunately" and "Unfortunately." The children love to comment on what might happen next. As a teacher it is a great way to get students writing their own story with the same formula. Children love to hear it again and again.
Mar 07, 2013 Jen rated it really liked it
Shelves: pb, storytime, silly
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
Jan 11, 2012 Sarah Sammis rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 28, 2012 Fred rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 20, 2013 Crystal rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 12, 2013 Jamie rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 17, 2013 Joan rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 20, 2013 Miss Jessica rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
I wish this book were three times as long, because it's kinda hilarious and messed up.
Oct 25, 2016 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
A favourite from my childhood, I used this book for a Rosh Hashanah family service with a discussion about perception and how we react to situations.
Dec 23, 2015 Jeremy rated it really liked it
Remy Charlip's classic picture book is silly, fun and colourful, but it contains so much more than mere fun. In fact, I think it can be used to teach children about the ying-yang of fortune and misfortune:

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.

And on the dance
Samantha Westall
Sep 16, 2016 Samantha Westall rated it it was ok
Interesting story about a how a boy got to a surprise party.
Amy Forrester
Dec 07, 2012 Amy Forrester rated it it was amazing
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
Fortunately is a fun book, made up of single sentences on each page. The concept of the book is like the "Fortunately, Unfortunately," game. Some of the book iss almost frightening: Dude is on the verge of death multiple times! But it makes kids laugh. And how many kids have their own airplane that they fly themselves? So now that we know that this book is silly . . . he almost dies. I think children are pretty okay with the idea of pretend-getting-hurt themselves. It takes up a huge portion of ...more
Jan 26, 2016 June rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: birthday requests
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. 1/16/13

Used again and ha
Apr 10, 2014 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  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.
Feb 11, 2014 Vivian rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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
Kelly Sommers
Oct 01, 2013 Kelly Sommers rated it liked it
Shelves: eng261
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.
Mar 16, 2012 Suse rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 08, 2012 VAle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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!!! ;)
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.
Feb 25, 2013 Kristen rated it liked it
Shelves: older-kids
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.
Oct 13, 2014 Hillary rated it really liked it
Shelves: english-355
This is fantastic and sure to have any boys and girls, (including adults), who read it bursting with laughter! It's so great to show that bad things can bring good things, and that's okay! I loved the creativity, and from now on I will have to catch myself from saying, "unfortunately," anytime something goes wrong!
May 20, 2010 Dianna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 06, 2013 Betsy rated it it was amazing
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.
Russ (Louisville)
Oct 12, 2012 Russ (Louisville) rated it did not like it
Shelves: picture-book
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.
Kaitlin Moriarty
Dec 10, 2014 Kaitlin Moriarty rated it it was amazing
We read this book in my Principles of Teaching and Learning course. I liked the book because of the contrast in the illustrations. It had the unfortunately parts in black and white and the fortunately illustrations in color. I liked this because it showed the emotions associated with the two vocabulary words. It is also a good book to concretely teach kids the meaning behind those two words.
Jul 24, 2015 Linda rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books as a child and as a parent.
Poor Ned. Lucky Ned! It was gratifying as a young child to learn such a sophisticated word, and to pass that feeling along to my young children in such a funny and exciting tale.
Mrs. Gabrielle Zastrow's
Oct 02, 2013 Mrs. Gabrielle Zastrow's rated it it was amazing
We loved this book so much, that we had to read it twice in a row!!! It was hilarious! This story taught us writing stories can be really fun! It is encouraging us to write our own Fortunately, Unfortunately stories!
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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 about Remy Charlip...

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“Do not confront me with my failures, I have not forgotten them. - Nico (Royal Tenenbaums)” 3 likes
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