“A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” ~C.S. Lewis
Nothing can make a bad day seem better quite like a good book. I learned this concept at a young age thanks to Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Ray Cruz. When I was a child, this book was one of my all-time favorites. At first glance, it may seem incredibly negative to say that a book that mattered to me as a child was about a little boy who is having a terrible day. However, the reasons I loved this book extend far beyond a boy experiencing a bad day.
The first time my mom read this book out loud to me, I remember laughing and begging for her to read it again. This book showed me that books are not just words on a page; instead they can stir up real emotions. A second reason I loved this book was because every time I read it (or it was read to me) I felt like I was being whisked away to Alexander’s world. Alexander hated lima beans, so did I. Alexander hated having to go to the dentist, so did I. Alexander wanted to escape to Australia, and I loved Australia. I think one of the main reasons I feel in love with this book because I could so easily relate to Alexander. Another reason I adore this book is because of the memories I have with it. Whenever I had a bad day at school, my mom would read this book out loud to me. She wanted to me to understand that all children, even children that live in story books, have bad days.
Even now, as an adult if I talk to my mom and tell her about a bad day I am having, she will usually respond with something like, “Well, unfortunately, some days are like that. Even in Australia.” Alexander’s story teaches a lesson that is universal – everyone has bad days, even people in Australia.