A child’s big plans for a perfect Saturday are altered by a combination of unforeseeable occurrences.
Like Judith Viorst’s Alexander, Ruthie is not having a good day. Gramma’s flooded basement cancels blueberry pancakes with the family in the morning and flower planting with Papa in the afternoon. When Momma reminds Ruthie about her cousin Buster’s birthday party, Ruthie does not want to go, saying he is mean. She relents, only to have her favorite dress ruined when the washing machine breaks down. Then traffic on the way home from shopping for a present forces her to miss her favorite cartoon, and then she drops the eggs preparing to bake cookies. Exasperated, Ruthie storms out, declaring it to be “the Worst Kind of Day EVER!” The disheartened Ruthie and her mom decide to make wishes on their dandelions—which appear to come true when a very flat tire finally keeps the family home to bake and allows Ruthie to restart her “Best Kind of Day.” Ruined plans are hard for little ones to take, and Rankin creates a believable scenario in which everything going wrong can somehow work out all right. Endearing illustrations of an anthropomorphized fox family depict both the chaos and pathos that are inevitable with this kind of day.
Readers of all ages will easily identify with Ruthie’s trying day. (Picture book. 3-5)