Alicia Has a Bad Day

Lisa Jahn-Clough, Author, Lisa Jahn-Clough, Illustrator Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $15 (32p) ISBN 978-0-395-69454-1
Deliberately childlike paintings put a comic edge on a terrible, rotten, very bad day. Those of, shall we say, artistic temperaments may find a kindred spirit in this debut book's scowling, yellow-haired narrator, Alicia, who wakes up one day in inexplicable misery. First she sulks around the house (``After I mope I lie on the floor and stare at the ceiling. The cracks make faces at me''), then she maliciously stomps on ants outdoors, where a gray cloud threatens to block out a frowning sun. Surrounded by a violent, slashy purple-and-black aura, Alicia writes the word ``lugubrious'' in her notebook (``Lugubrious is my favorite miserable word. It means dark and dreary''); young vocabulary enthusiasts will enjoy being handed a 50-cent word, the poor definition notwithstanding. Alicia's bleak humor, which lasts until her orange dog cheers her with a friendly lick, grows tedious, but Jahn-Clough's simplistic brushwork, roughly hewn in straight-from-the-tube colors, wryly conveys surliness. Spending time with Alicia might distract a moody reader from an impending tantrum, or simply serve as a reminder that everyone has bad days. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1994
Release date: 09/01/1994
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-25702-2
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-618-26011-9
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-72916-1
Open Ebook - 32 pages - 978-0-547-34753-0
Ebook - 32 pages - 978-0-547-76697-3
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