Ode to a Bad Day

Illustrated by Hyewon Yum
April 18th, 2023
Published: Chronicle Books

Told in a series of dramatic odes to her day’s annoyances, Alexander (of the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day) has got NOTHING on this girl whose day just gets worse and worse!

Oh Too Much Milk in My Cereal!
Soggy, squishy! Boggy, mushy!
You turned my crispy into gushy!

Sometimes the little bumps in our days can feel much bigger than they are. And when they start multiplying . . . oh, what a bad day it can become! Told in a series of dramatic odes to a day’s annoyances, Ode to a Bad Day lets children and caregivers alike find the humor and compassion in the days that could have gone better—and encourages readers to look forward to a better day . . . tomorrow.

TIMELESS TOPIC: Classic in sensibility but with fresh, sharp wit, this book touches on a truly universal topic with an authentic voice young readers will recognize and identify with. The struggles of the main character immediately capture the drama of childhood without making the world seem totally hopeless and antagonistic.

READ ALOUD: This picture book is riddled with rhyme and chock-full of humor in every stanza—perfect for read-aloud occasions, bedtime, or any moment a kid needs cheering up on a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

SELF-RELIANCE: In celebrating frustration, tedium, and boredom, this book also emphasizes the value of remaining positive facing life’s various difficulties. You can be upset and still be a regular person; you can have a bad day and still rhyme about it.

BACK-TO-SCHOOL REASSURANCE: Perfect for kids who are nervous about starting school or struggling with any less-than-ideal moments in life.

EDUCATIONAL INFO INCLUDED: After reading through the fun, rhyming narrative, kids can read on to learn more about what an ode is, how to make one, and even have the opportunity to create their own.

Perfect for:

  • Great read-aloud option for parents, teachers, and librarians looking for funny kids’ books
  • Starting-school or back-to-school book for young readers
  • Reassuring book for kids who experience anxiety or struggle to get through bad days
  • Fans of humor, children’s poetry, and books that celebrate big feelings
  • Readers of popular children’s books like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten, Cranky Bear, and The Seven Silly Eaters

Original ODE song:


BEST PICTURE BOOKS OF 2023 list from the Chicago Public Library

“This is one bad day readers won’t mind reliving again and again.” –Kirkus

“The poetic structure and regal cadence lend the child’s voice a sense of polite formality, bringing ironic humor to her bad day…cleverly matched with bits of visual humor.” — Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books

“With loads of age-appropriate melodrama, a young girl laments all the bad things that happen on a bad day… Wallace’s cleverly written ode is well complemented by Yum’s familiar colored-pencil art.” – The Horn Book

“Consistently engaging spreads, while sensory-focused lines list the indignities of the day…[with] the promise of a better tomorrow.” — Publishers Weekly

“Engaging.” — Booklist

“Ode to a Bad Day is wholly relatable and highly engaging, with lively, rolling poetry and rich, charming illustrations. No matter what kind of day it has been, don’t be surprised if young readers want to read this book over and over.” — Book Page