Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Review: Bad Day by Ruby Roth

by Ruby Roth
North Atlantic Books
Picture Books
32 pages
ages 4 to 8

Popular children's book author-illustrator Ruby Roth gives us the heartening story of a little boy who's had a very bad day and just needs some quiet space to work out his feelings in his own way, on his own time

What do you do when you’re feeling overwhelmed? In Bad Day, things are not going well for Hennie. Small things loom large, going from bad to worse as the day-that-never-ends goes on. But with a deep breath and some quiet reflection, Hennie begins to make sense of his feelings and discovers the power of turning inward. Affirming and funny at wonderfully relatable moments, this timely mindfulness resource helps children process their inner lives, guiding them toward self-empowerment and resilience.


Everyone has had a really bad, no good day, and this book brings it down to a relatable level while packing in some humor and good messages along the way.

Hennie decides there's only one way to handle his bad day—to pull a paper bag over his head and leave it there. Forever, if need be. He fusses and fumes, and while staring at the paper, thinks back to all of the bad things that happened to him. And there were quite a few. But as he thinks, he realizes something he didn't before.

Hennie is adorable, and his attitude is completely understandable. The idea of simply pulling a paper bag over the head is something many readers can relate to (young and old). The illustrations allow this fuming to come to life with a touch of humor. The scenes allow Hennie's problems to come across clearly, but also illustrate how silly pulling a bag over the head can be. Young readers will sympathize...even with the bad moments of his day.

Hennie solves his problem himself by suddenly realizing that it was a tough day. I found this a bit of a stretch, since I don't know of any kids that age who can make this step on their own (not even many adults). Still, the message is one readers can learn from and does offer a sensible alternative to dealing with bad days.

And here she is...

Featured on CNN, FOX, Today, and other major media outlets, Ruby Roth is an artist and the world's leading author and illustrator
of vegan and vegetarian books for children.

Vegan since 2003, Roth was teaching art at an elementary school when her students' fascination with her eating habits inspired her to write That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals in 2009—the first book of its kind in children's literature. Vegan Is Love and V Is for Vegan. Today, Roth's books have been translated into multiple languages including German, Italian, Korean, French, Polish, Finnish, and Slovenian.

Complementing her degrees in art and American Studies, Roth has researched animal agriculture, health, nutrition, and the benefits of a plant-based diet for over a decade.

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