My family just uncovered a long-lost children’s anthology—replete with the typical classics. The editors also included some 20th Century gems such as “The Little Engine that Could”, “Curious George”, and “Where the Wild Things Are”. These titles brought back wonderful memories, as I perused the Table of Contents.

But then I saw it.

“Kids, do want to hear my all-time, super-fantastic favorite story?”

Unenthusiastically, “Ok.”

“No, really. This one is terrific!”

“What’s it about?”

And as I began to read animatedly, they gathered ‘round.

I had found “Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day!”* The story about Alexander—everyone’s kid self—whose days sometimes go wrong from the get-go. He slipped on a skateboard, his sweater fell into the sink, and he was the only kid who didn’t get a prize from the cereal box that morning.

It was going to be terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. And Alexander was planning to go to Australia!

Alexander's ship to Australia

Alexander’s ship to Australia

By the time Alexander found out the sneakers he wanted were sold out, I asked the kids, “So what do you think Alexander said?”In unison: “It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day,” and of course, Alexander wanted to go to Australia.

Some days are like that. They’re terrible, horrible, no good…and we want to get to the place farthest from where we are. Some days Australia sounds pretty good.

Then, as Alexander’s mom soberly points out, we all have bad days—even in Australia!

Quick cure for winter blues—enjoy a kids’ story! (And in Australia, it’s summer!)


*Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst