Very Important Things I Learned from Books: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day


Bad days happen (often on days when you have to go to your job – work shmork), so we want to make sure you’re armed with every possible weapon against them.  Your defense should start with a well-stocked refrigerator, a cache of Hugh Grant movies, and a brand new copy of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Bad days are inevitable – like death and taxes, so they say – and it’s one of those pesky universal truths we learn early on. In fact, I’m pretty sure I learned about the very existence of bad days when I was a little girl reading about Alexander and his encounter with the untamable beast that is the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day (often a Monday).

This is what we know:

First off all, right off the bat, NEVER sleep with gum in your mouth. It will inevitably end up in your hair.

The worse thing you can find in a box of cereal is just cereal. Just plain old cereal! What are you suppose to do with that?! You eat cereal so that you can be rewarded with tiny plastic toys at the bottom of the box!  The “balance” in “balanced breakfast” is the plastic.


Here is how car rides work: they are absolutely pointless unless you get a seat by the window. And if you ARE one of the lucky ones, you must immediately ignore everyone around you and plaster your face to the window to look outside the entire trip.  If your face isn’t shaped like window by the end of the car ride, you’ve failed.


If you want to draw something impressive, you should draw a sailboat. Or a man wearing a hat. For heavens sake, DO NOT draw an invisible man.  No one will be impressed.


When your buddy tells you that you are his “third best friend.” The appropriate response is, “I hope you sit on a tack.” That’s just the sort of thing third best friends say.

If you are ever invited to eat dinner at Philip Parker’s house, you would be crazy not to go, because this is clearly a two cupcakes kind of place.


Also, side note: Alexander’s mom has a great sense of fashion. I want that shirt.


Speaking of fashion, plain white sneakers are, like, the greatest fashion faux pas ever. And to be forced to wear them in public is the hugest punishment known to mankind.


Although, as upsetting as white sneakers are, nothing is more repulsive than lima beans for dinner and kissing on TV. NOTHING.


And lastly, the greatest lesson from dear old Alexander – the ultimate solution to all your daily gripes: move to Australia.


Seriously, they have some great coffee there. The kid might be on to something…

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day  was written by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Ray Cruz. It has been depressing children since 1972.

Amy likes to draw and write. Follow her on Tumblr where she makes poorly animated gifs and Harry Potter fan art.!



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