Bella has a daylong (leading to a long-day) case of the grumps, and she shares them with each and all.
Patterson’s Bella is having one of those days, the kind that feels prehistoric, so it is best to act like a little cave girl, all bellowing, unmannered disgruntlement. But then, what is a little 21st-century girl to do when she wakes up in the morning to her baby brother licking her jewelry? (She left it on the floor; much of the charm of this book is that it is too weird to be made up.) Bella knows what to do: roll her eyes heavenward, fling her hands in the air and start hollering (her mouth resembling the cave she crawled out of that morning). The day just gets worse, with Bella getting more twisted by the moment, until bedtime, when her mother promises the next day will be better—which it is. Some days are rotten, and there is no telling why: It is a good lesson to learn that such days typically pass in the night, with some mysterious recalibration of our place in the world. Patterson’s tale is visually festive even as Bella does her best to wring darkness from every moment.
Its elemental nature will bring the point home to the youngest readers, though it does not replace the classic Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. (Picture book. 2-5)