We have all been there. Sometimes it’s a life-altering, devastating event. Most times, though, the coffee maker stops working and you leave the house with (a small child’s) poop on your yoga pants while wearing two different flip flops. You declare, this is the worst day ever! as you circle the grocery store parking lot in the stinky mini-van, trying to find a spot near the cart corral.
Our kids have their own little worst days ever, with many more to come (take your time rolling in tween angst). I think it can be harder to see your children experience it. The worst day ever truly feels like the worst when one is in the midst of it, and it’s harder to help a little one through it.
Debbie Reece’s touching book, The Worst Day Ever!, takes us through James’ seemingly routine school day. But on this day, nothing can go right for James. James is a normal child. He struggles to do the right thing while fighting the influence of his peers. Much like in real life, he is a child who makes mistakes and things outside of his control go wrong. The story is told from James’ perspective, and we appreciate his endeavor to navigate this challenging day, though he does seems to make all the wrong choices.
Despite his misbehavior, my kids and I related to James, because let’s be honest: some days you are just off. Even my 4-year-old understood James’ conflicts, and empathized as he dealt with the consequences. In the end, James learns the most important lesson: things will get better, and at the worst of the (worst) day, his mom will always be there for him.
Reece does a wonderful job of capturing an average kid’s “worst day ever” reality for most. She does so in a way that is relatable and stirs empathy and thought within little listeners. According to Reese,
The story shares a message of unconditional love and family support that are necessary for a child’s self confidence and personal development.
Reece suggests an audience of ages four to nine, but I believe the story can be appreciated by both older and younger kids. This book is both meaningful and discussion-provoking, and would be a wonderful addition to any family’s book shelf. The Worst Day Ever!
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