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

by Alissa

One of the beautiful things about life with my two-year-old is that she is ready and able to experience the world through story. At bedtime, we repeat her own beloved travel stories (The Day You Walked All the Way Down Andrássy) as well as family lore (Uncle Nathan’s Garter Snake Gives Birth–Surprise!). We regularly attempt to extend lunch time by reading books aloud, and frequently avoid housecleaning by sitting on the couch together with a pile of books.

Remember when you used to send me up to clean my room and I would spend the day reading instead, Mom and Dad? Nothing has changed.

Octavia descends from multiple lines of bibliophiles. We gather at least one new book a day, either at the library, through gifting, or from my mother’s delightful Daedalus habit. With all of our visits to the thrift store lately, we’ve made several great additions our previously sparse Australia section. When we find them, it feels as if they’ve been planted there, just for us.

Yesterday’s find:

  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, written by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Ray Cruz

When Ace first mentioned the possibility of moving to Australia, the refrain from this book–saved somewhere in my mind since elementary school–came to mind. “I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. … I think I’ll move to Australia.”

As if relocating to the other end of the earth will solve all of his problems.

How many times have I been guilty of thinking that? How many times has that spurred on decisions to relocate, in our family history alone?

No, Alexander. Like your mother says at the end of the story, “… some days are like that. Even in Australia.”

The real way to solve your problems is to get another book and escape into literature. Or, when you should be familiarizing yourself with the Australian customs and quarantine regulations, get on Wikipedia and discover that in the Australian edition of this book Alexander wants to escape to Timbuktu instead. Sorry mate, heading for West Africa will in no way make life easier. But go on, try it.

What are your favourite escapes, friends? Have you ever been to Timbuktu? Am I selling it short?