March 2001


By Judith Viorst
Share this Article:

What do you do when you have a bad day? If you're like me, you just might find yourself reaching for your old dog-eared copy of Judith Viorst's classic, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, first published in 1972.

Over the years reading about Alexander's bad day has become a tradition for families everywhere. Now Judith Viorst has turned her attention to another fact of daily life. Just as there are sure to be bad days, there's almost sure to be one messy kid in the family! The messy kid here is definitely not Olivia, the narrator of Viorst's new book. And Olivia doesn't really have many complaints about her big brother, Jake, either. But Sophie is another matter altogether.

"And then there's my little sister, whose room is seriously I mean seriously REVOLTING. Which is one of maybe a MILLION reasons why my sister Sophie is super-completely and totally THE MESSIEST." Little Sophie doesn't just have a messy room. No, explains Olivia, the situation is far more serious. It is true that Sophie totally disappears under the pile of stuff in her closet. But she also makes a mess of finger-painting at school, wrecks ALL the sandcastles entered in the sandcastle contest at the beach and on a visit to a farm you guessed it falls right into the mud with the pigs.

And though Sophie TRIES hard to be very neat and careful when she helps her big sister and brother make a special breakfast in bed for Mom, well, Sophie on the bed with a tray of food is definitely a recipe for disaster. For the truth of the matter is, "Sophie is ALWAYS making and being a mess." Robin Glasser's lively pen and ink and watercolor illustrations bring the exuberant Sophie and her escapades to life. Kids will be fascinated by the detailed drawings of Sophie's many disasters. (Especially the one where Mom finds some lost mice in Sophie's mop of red and messy curls!)

A super-complete and total portrait of messiness, this is the perfect book for that untidy little person in your life, or the long-suffering sibling who, like Olivia, has to admit in the end that "Sophie's a kind and very nice person, even though she messes up breakfasts and beds."


Deborah Hopkinson's new books for children, Bluebird Summer and Fannie in the Kitchen, will be published this spring.

Trending Reviews

Get the Book

Sign Up

Stay on top of new releases: Sign up for our enewsletters to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres.

Sign Up

Sign up to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres!