I have a confession to make: I am no longer a kid…much to my dismay. I am, however, young-at-heart. Maybe that is the reason why one of my all-time favorite reads is the children’s book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, written by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Ray Cruz.
The story is told from the viewpoint of Alexander, the youngest of three brothers. One morning, Alexander wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. Nothing seems to go his way. As the day progresses, more and more problems arise: the “loss” of a best friend, having a cavity, and even (gasp) eating lima beans.
Because he is just a kid, Alexander feels that his concerns and complaints are being overlooked. And because he does not believe he is being heard, Alexander wants to escape his life, declaring, “I think I’ll move to Australia.”
By the end of the book, pretty much everything that could go wrong has gone wrong for poor Alexander. Thankfully, bedtime draws near. As Alexander climbs into bed, he tells his mom, once again, what a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day he has had. His mother tells him, reassuringly, that some days are like that—even in Australia.
It is that advice that shows readers, both young and not-so-young, that we are all the same: Everyone has bad days. It also offers hope: No matter how dark the clouds might get, a ray of light will eventually shine through.