When Alexander wakes up with gum in his hair, he thinks that maybe it's going to be a bad day. When he trips on the skateboard by his bed and drops his sweater in the sink, he knows it's going to be even worse than he thought. His brothers find fabulous prizes in their cereal boxes; he finds cereal. His best friends get fancy desserts in their lunch boxes; Mom forgets dessert. From being scrunched in the car on the way to school all the way to lima beans for supper and kissing on TV (yuck!), the day just keeps getting worse. It's enough to make him want to move to Australia. A popular and prolific author of children's books, Judith Viorst writes so that kids can recognize themselves in her stories. Johnny Heller's sympathetic reading lets the child in everybody identify with Alexander's predicament and his temptation to go somewhere far away.
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by Judith Viorst
"[Editor's Note: The following is a combined review with ALEXANDER, WHO'S NOT (DO YOU HEAR ME? I MEAN IT!) GOING TO MOVE and ALEXANDER, WHO USED TO BE RICH LAST SUNDAY.] -- Everyone loves the cranky, downtrodden, belligerent, and lovable Alexander. We've read and re-read Viorst's three picture books about him over the years. But no reader has experienced Alexander quite like this! Johnny Heller's whiny, often-wise grammar school hero is sufficiently self-righteous to elicit sympathy from kids and knowing smiles from adults. He never gets a seat by the window, he complains. And he only punches his brothers when they deserve it, he explains. His mother never puts interesting desserts in his lunch, he moans. And his money never lasts because saving money is too hard, he groans. He won't move, he threatens. He won't pack, he wails. He won't have any friends if he goes, he sobs. Sniffling and fussing, Heller's Alexander holds up a mirror for us all--and we laugh at our own reflections. T.B. "
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