A Good Day

( 3 )

Overview

It started out as a bad day for little yellow bird, little white dog, little orange fox, and little brown squirrel. Until . . .

A discovery, and love, and luck and persistence, and a different point of view changed all that. What can turn a bad day into a good day? You decide.

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Overview

It started out as a bad day for little yellow bird, little white dog, little orange fox, and little brown squirrel. Until . . .

A discovery, and love, and luck and persistence, and a different point of view changed all that. What can turn a bad day into a good day? You decide.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
"It was a bad day....Little yellow bird lost his favorite tail feather." Three other creatures endure similar mishaps, but everything works out in the end (especially for a little girl who finds a yellow feather for her hair). Award-winning Henkes reassures young kids that all is right with the world, using bright, expressive watercolors and a few well-chosen words. (ages 1 to 3)
The March 2007 issue of Child magazine
Children's Literature - Keri Collins
Everyone is having a bad day! From little yellow bird's lost tail feather to little orange fox's lost mother, the animals have good reasons to be distressed. How can little white dog get untangled? What will little brown squirrel eat now that she's lost her nut? How can they turn a bad day into a good one? Caldecott Medal-winning author/illustrator Kevin Henkes begins with a simple premise; then, with economy of words and engaging illustrations, he skillfully transforms a common theme into a powerful message about looking for the positive in every situation. With luck, determination, and persistence, each animal finds happiness, as does the little girl who lives nearby. She discovers a yellow feather and calls to her mother, "Mama! What a good day!" The book's final illustration shows the interrelatedness of this circular story's characters, revealing the girl's cottage with its yard populated by colorful little creatures. An ideal book for sharing with lap-readers and beginning readers alike, the easy text is perfectly matched by the bright watercolor illustrations. Henkes' fans will find his latest book a delightful combination of styles found in his previous works.
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1
Employing the thick lines and uncluttered illustrations reminiscent of his work in Kitten's First Full Moon (Greenwillow, 2004), Henkes tells the story of four creatures who start out having a bad day. A bird loses his favorite feather, a dog gets her leash tangled in a fence, a fox loses his mother, and a squirrel drops her nut. But then, the squirrel finds an even bigger nut, the fox is reunited with his mother, the dog frees her leash, and the bird discovers he can fly higher than ever, even without his feather. The animals' triumphant expressions and perky postures, in sharp contrast to their former dejected demeanors, bear witness to the fact that the bad day has turned out to be a good one after all. In a surprising twist, a young girl finds the bird's feather, "tuck[s] it behind her ear," and runs to her mother shouting, "What a good day!" A reprise of all four creatures in the last scene as the excited child seeks out her parent is the perfect conclusion. Full-page, pastel-hued watercolor-and-ink illustrations appear framed opposite each page of large, brief text. This gentle story affords an opportunity to introduce the very young to ways of dealing with life's small disappointments. A fine choice for the lap set.
—Marianne SaccardiCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
What makes a good day good? This deceptively simple work opens with calamity: Little yellow bird has lost his favorite tail feather; little white dog's leash has gotten tangled up in the fence; little orange fox has lost his mother; and little brown squirrel has dropped her nut. "But then . . . " The ellipsis has magic in it, turning all these bad days into good. Each creature's turnaround unfolds in reverse order, small shifts in behavior and attitude making the change. Henkes uses the bold lines and serene compositions that were the hallmark of his Caldecott Medal-winning Kitten's First Full Moon (2004), adding sunny watercolors for an appropriately cheery whole. The full-page illustrations, framed in the same brown ink that delineates each animal, appear opposite the minimal text, allowing the child reader to absorb each scene in its entirety with the turn of a page. Rounding out the pleasing circularity of events is a little girl's happy discovery of little yellow bird's feather: "Mama! What a good day!" A glorious celebration of the simple joys of childhood. (Picture book. 2-5)
New York Times Book Review
“An almost perfect picture book .…It must be said: Kevin Henkes is a genius.”
Horn Book (starred review)
“Deeply satisfying. …Henkes’s illustrations…speak volumes through simple details, managing to express pure joy in just the arched shape of an eye or the angle of an ear. … A Good Day is the rare example of near-perfection in a picture book.”
Booklist (starred review)
“A deceptively simple picture book, expertly tuned to the emotions and imaginations of young children.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“There is real resonance in this tale, rooted mostly in the suggestion that bad days can turn into good days on a dime.… This begs to be read again and again.”
Washington Post Book World
“Sublimely simple.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061140181
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/27/2007
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 168,347
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin Henkes

Kevin Henkes is the author of Junonia, Sun & Spoon, Bird Lake Moon, and the Newbery Honor Book Olive's Ocean. He also writes and illustrates picture books, and among his many titles are the national bestsellers Little White Rabbit, My Garden, Old Bear, A Good Day, and Kitten's First Full Moon, for which he was awarded the Caldecott Medal. Mr. Henkes is also the creator of a series of books starring mouse characters, including the Penny books for beginning readers, Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, Chrysanthemum, and Owen, for which he was awarded a Caldecott Honor.

Kevin Henkes lives with his family in Madison, Wisconsin.

Kevin Henkes is the author of Junonia, Sun & Spoon, Bird Lake Moon, and the Newbery Honor Book Olive's Ocean. He also writes and illustrates picture books, and among his many titles are the national bestsellers Little White Rabbit, My Garden, Old Bear, A Good Day, and Kitten's First Full Moon, for which he was awarded the Caldecott Medal. Mr. Henkes is also the creator of a series of books starring mouse characters, including the Penny books for beginning readers, Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, Chrysanthemum, and Owen, for which he was awarded a Caldecott Honor.

Kevin Henkes lives with his family in Madison, Wisconsin.

Biography

Kevin Henkes still owns some of his favorite books from childhood. "They're brimming with all the telltale signs of true love: dog-eared pages, fingerprints on my favorite illustrations, my name and address inscribed on both front and back covers in inch-high lettering, and the faint smell of stale peanut butter on the bindings," he says in an interview on his web site.

Back in his peanut-butter sandwich days, Henkes dreamed of becoming an artist. By high school, he had combined his love of drawing with a newfound interest in writing, and at age 19, he took his portfolio to New York City in hopes of finding a publisher. Young Henkes returned home from his weeklong trip with a contract from Greenwillow Books, and he's worked as a children's writer and illustrator ever since.

Henkes's style has evolved over the years to include more humor, more whimsy and a lot more mice. Though he began illustrating his picture books with realistic drawings of children, he's since developed a recurring cast of mouse characters rendered in a more cartoon-like style -- though with a range of expressions that make the spirited Lilly, anxious Wemberly, fearless Sheila Rae and sensitive Chrysanthemum into highly believable heroines. Owen, the story of a little mouse who isn't ready to give up his tattered security blanket, won a Caldecott Honor Medal for its winsome watercolor-and-ink illustrations.

Many of Henkes's mouse books deal with such common childhood ordeals as starting school, being teased and getting lost. Chrysanthemum, about a mouse whose new schoolmates tease her about her name, was inspired by Henkes's own feelings when he started school. "The book is about family, and how starting something new and going out into the world can be very hard," he told an interviewer for The Five Owls. "I remember going to kindergarten -- my grandfather had a beautiful rose garden, and he gave me the last roses of the season to bring to the kindergarten teacher the next day. I don't even remember how it happened, but an older kid took these flowers from me on the playground, and I remember coming home, feeling awful." As a grown-up, Henkes is able to translate difficult childhood transitions into stories that are both honest and reassuring. In a review of Chrysanthemum, Kirkus Reviews noted: "Henkes's language and humor are impeccably fresh, his cozy illustrations sensitive and funny, his little asides to adults an unobtrusive delight."

Henkes has also written novels for older children, in which he "explores family relationships with breathtaking tenderness" (Publisher's Weekly). In The Birthday Room, for example, a twelve-year-old boy learns the reason for his mother's long estrangement from her brother, and helps effect a reconciliation. "Refreshingly, Henkes has given us a male protagonist who is reflective, creative and emotionally sensitive," wrote Karen Leggett in The New York Times Book Review. "Ben feels the anguish of his mother's long-simmering bitterness and his uncle's agonizing guilt. Yet at a time when it is almost a fad to blame dysfunctional families for problems, we learn that even though there are never simple answers and not many fairy-tale endings, families can heal."

Though his novels are more complex and serious than his picture books, all Henkes's works suggest an author with deep empathy for the intense emotions of childhood. As a Publisher's Weekly reviewer wrote, "Behind each book is a wide-open heart, one readers can't help but respond to, that makes all of Henkes's books of special value to children."

Good To Know

Henkes's wife, Laura Dronzek, is also an artist. She painted the cover illustration for Henkes' novel Sun and Spoon and illustrated his picture book Oh!.

Henkes has turned down requests to use his mouse characters in a television series, but some of his books are available in video form in Chrysanthemum and More Kevin Henkes Stories. The video's narrators include Meryl Streep, Sarah Jessica Parker and Mary Beth Hurt.

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse has been adapted into a stage play.

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    1. Hometown:
      Madison, Wisconsin
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 27, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      Racine, Wisconsin
    1. Education:
      University of Wisconsin, Madison
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2009

    short and sweet

    The Easter Bunny brought this book for my 2 year-old daughter. She is a big fan of "Kitten's First Full Moon" and this book did not disappoint either. It is a short and simple story that has a sweet message.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2008

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    Posted February 21, 2010

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