Best Books: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

September 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

Oh hey there. Since reading is good and all, I’m going to start a little series of my list of best books. For Me and L alike.

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

Image via Goodreads

One time, when I was really pregnant, I was house sitting for my parents, sleeping awkwardly on my side in their bed (mine was at my apartment in carrboro), and it was late late at night (or early early in the morning), and I called the one person that I knew would be awake. The now-boyfriend but then-friend, Alex. And Alex, for all those who know him, is a great talker if you get him at a good time. And I had caught him when he was finishing up a piece of artwork, and I was feeling exceptionally alone and out of sorts, so Alex talking about anything was the most welcome thing in the world.

He told me about the piece he was working on, a little bit about school, and then he began to tell me about his favorite book as a child, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day which is just about perfect with it’s heavy repetition of the title (good for little ones to fill in!), the perfect thing to hear after terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

And I didn’t really give it a second thought until I received it as a gift for my baby shower, by good friends Charlie and Christel, and it came up again. And it’s perfect in it’s simplicity. The title character, Alexander, is having a really crappy day. (He doesn’t get the toy out of the cereal, the sneakers he wants are sold out, he gets punished for something his brother did, the elevator door closes on his foot, etc.) And he wants to move to Australia. And at the end, his mother calmly tells him that some days are just like that, even in Australia.

This is such an important thing to learn, for little kids, when everything is the worst thing that happens. And for me to remember, when a bad day is the worst day and work sucks and I can’t even imagine going back, so I hope Lena learns this, and I can’t tell you how many times I shut the door of my car, walk to the back door to take Lena out, and I just say to myself, That was a terrible horrible no good very bad day, and another part of me responds, Some days are like that, even in Australia, and then there’s this swooping feeling as memory rushes in, of over 4 years ago, feeling so alone and scared holding on to my phone in the middle of the night, and Alex saying from so far away, it will be ok, and damn, if a kids book can make a person feel all that, it must be a good one.


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