Good News, Bad News

( 1 )


Good news, Rabbit and Mouse are going on a picnic. Bad news, it is starting to rain. Good news, Rabbit has an umbrella. Bad news, the stormy winds blow the umbrella (and Mouse!) into a tree.

So begins this clever story about two friends with very different dispositions. Using just four words, Jeff Mack has created a text with remarkable flair that is both funny and touching, and pairs perfectly with his ...

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Good news, Rabbit and Mouse are going on a picnic. Bad news, it is starting to rain. Good news, Rabbit has an umbrella. Bad news, the stormy winds blow the umbrella (and Mouse!) into a tree.

So begins this clever story about two friends with very different dispositions. Using just four words, Jeff Mack has created a text with remarkable flair that is both funny and touching, and pairs perfectly with his energetic, and hilarious, illustrations.

Good news, this is a book kids will clamor to read again and again!

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  • Good News, Bad News
    Good News, Bad News  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Mack’s clever book may follow the format of Remy Charles’s Fortunately, Unfortunately, but his take on the theme is flat-out hilarious. Apart from the closing line, the text contains only the four words of the title. “Good news!” says a cheerful rabbit, showing a picnic basket to a mouse seen leaning out of its hole. “Bad news,” says the mouse as rain begins to fall. The rabbit is ready with an umbrella (“Good news”), but the mouse blows away after grabbing it (“Bad news”). Mack’s mixed-media illustrations are both slapstick and droll as the duo fights off bees, runs from a rampaging bear, and gets hit by lightning. When the mouse loses its temper in a two-page tantrum, the rabbit’s spirits finally plummet. Mack (Frog and Fly) portrays the rabbit in a puddle of tears, and amusingly depicts the mouse’s epiphany with the sun breaking through the clouds, as if the book were a Cecil B. DeMille movie. This well-executed, rapid-fire book should satisfy even the most resistant readers. Ages 3–6. Agent: Rubin Pfeffer, East West Literary Agency. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"A fun book about looking at the bright side of things" - GeekDad

FamilyFun Magazine's "Our Favorite Things"

"Young listeners are certain to clamor for this one again and again . . . and that is good news." - Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Will allow you to teach lessons about the importance of a good attitude" - SavvyAuntie

"Very cute... I also appreciated that there were a few good messages thrown in about friendship and the power of staying positive!" - BookingMama

"This offering is, to borrow the rabbit's two words, good news." - The Horn Book Magazine

"Sometimes the most brilliant picture books can teach us more in fewer words than even "great" literature can. Good News, Bad News is one of those books. " - WABC-TV

"May feature just four short words, but it's extra-long on heart- Daily Candy Kids

"Good news, this isn't just a book about attitude, it also hits home the message about the importance of friendship. Bad news, there really isn't any bad news about this delightful book" - Bookends, a Booklist Blog

"Good for storytimes or independent reading" - School Library Journal

"A gentle, entertaining way to bring up the concept of looking for the positive." - Design Mom

Children's Literature - Lauren Abbey Greenberg
A picnic is "good news," but rain is "bad news." Or is it? Using only four words, Mack creates the story of Rabbit and Mouse, two friends with two very different dispositions. Nothing bothers Rabbit. He can find the silver lining in just about anything, no matter if it's a swarm of bees or an angry bear. Mouse, on the other hand, is a glass-half-empty kind of rodent, and he can only take so much of Rabbit's Pollyanna attitude. The story builds with Rabbit trying his best to salvage the picnic until Mouse has had enough. He explodes in anger and hurts Rabbit's feelings. But Mouse makes the extra effort to set things right again, knowing that his friendship with Rabbit is the "good" in his life. With lively illustrations, this sweet and simple book offers an interactive reading experience where reader and listener can discuss the different ways we see the world.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—-When optimistic Rabbit and unlucky Mouse go on a picnic, there is plenty of good news and bad news. Some good news-umbrella, apples, cake, cave. Some bad news-rain, worms, bees, bear. Unfortunately, all the bad seems to happen to Mouse, who eventually has a hissy fit that makes Rabbit cry. But as the sun breaks through the clouds, Mouse makes it all better with a peace offering of the picnic basket and a hug. Mack creates a solid story arc using only the phrases "good news"/"bad news," and his illustrations. Indeed, the art is the heart of this picture book, offering excellent depictions of events and facial expressions. When Mouse finally snaps, his understandable anger and frustration come through loud and clear. This title fits into the niche containing Remy Charlip's Fortunately (S & S, 1984) and Michael Foreman's Fortunately, Unfortunately (Andersen, 2011). Good for storytimes or independent reading or independent looking.—Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH
Kirkus Reviews
Working from a text composed solely of the titular phrases (plus one final qualifier) in an ongoing call and response, Mack depicts a day among friends whose dispositions couldn't be more extreme. Rabbit is an optimist; framed by a soft, white cloud, he exhibits an overflowing picnic basket joyfully to his buddy. An ominous, grey formation shades Mouse's skeptical reaction. When the storm begins, the fun-lover produces an umbrella; the frowner is blown into a tree. Happily, it's an apple tree. Unhappily, the fruit descends forcefully on the fallen rodent. So it proceeds in a fashion reminiscent of Remy Charlip's Fortunately (1964). The difference here is that viewers see the events through two distinct lenses, and the pair are not only experiencing the same situations, they are mindful of one another's reactions. The artist manipulates body language and facial features to register a range of emotions through caricatures with personality to spare. Endpapers divided into 18 squares contain images than can inspire a variety of storytelling behaviors from prediction to sequencing. When a bear chases the duo up a flagpole, and lightning fries them to charred silhouettes (à la cartoons of yesteryear--sensitive readers beware), Rabbit's worldview is clearly rocked, but now it is Mouse's turn to find the silver lining. An instructive and entertaining primer on the art of friendship and the complexity of joy. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781452101101
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
  • Publication date: 7/4/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 140,144
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeff Mack is the author and illustrator of many books for young readers including Hush Little Polar Bear, Frog and Fly, and Clueless McGee. He lives carefree in Western Massachusetts where all the clouds have silver linings and everyone's glass is half-full. Visit him online at

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 22, 2012


    NOTE -I got a review copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review

    This is one of the best books for kids just starting to look at books. The whole story is told using just FOUR words! The illustrations are bright and cute, the words repeat, making it easy to teach kids how to read. The story teaches that their moods can affect other people. I have read this 6 times already, and I still enjoy it!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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