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Review: Good News, Bad News

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Looking for new books to share with your child? Check out the book review below! Each week we bring you the latest reviews of books geared toward children in grades K-5 from the creators of "Sweet on Books", a locally-based initiative with reviews written for you exclusively by mothers, as part of our ABC7 Learning Section Enjoy!

Title: Good News, Bad News

GoodNewsBadNews250 Author/Illustrator: Jeff Mack

Themes: Self-Awareness/Discovery, Compassion/Empathy, Counting, Colors, Feelings, Excellent Read-Aloud, Exquisite Illustrations

Published: 2012, 40 pages

'Sweet' book summary:
Reviewer: Melissa Y.

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. This clever book is made up of four words in total: "good," "news," "bad," and a one time use of the word "very." The brilliance lies in how the author uses these words in conjunction with the illustrations.


The two main characters are an optimistic and sunny rabbit and a pessimistic and grumpy mouse. Rabbit and Mouse are going to have a picnic: good news! But it starts to rain: bad news! But Rabbit has an umbrella: good news! But the umbrella blows away: bad news! Rabbit enthusiastically tries to keep Mouse's spirit up through all sorts of obstacles, until it simply becomes too much, even for Rabbit. The final straw is a lightning strike. Rabbit admits defeat. But, suddenly, Mouse realizes his pessimistic attitude has been a hindrance, and he takes over Rabbit's role and tries to cheer him up. As the sun starts to shine once again, Mouse hurriedly grabs the picnic basket, and order is restored!

The humor and emotion in this book is overwhelming considering how little text the author actually uses. Children will relate to the journeys of both Rabbit and Mouse. Children will also see their own relationships reflected in the friendship between these two critters. Finally, children will be able to explore their own personalities using the two extreme examples of these well-drawn characters. On the surface, the simplicity of the story makes it accessible to very young children, but the sophistication of the subject matter may well appeal to older children also.

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What You Need to Know:
  • Good News, Bad News is a wonderful story of optimism (or pessimism!).
  • This picture book would make a great read-aloud for all ages.
  • This small and spare tale could be used to teach a multitude of life lessons.
If you liked this book, try:
  • Jeremy Draws a Monster by Peter McCarty
  • Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker
  • Elephant & Piggie: Listen to My Trumpet Mo Willems
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