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Johnny Lion’s Bad Day (Edith Thacher Hurd)

on November 30, 2011
Johnny Lion's bad day. Box 3 : Ask Librarian
Johnny Lion’s Bad Day by Edith Thacher Hurd
Pictures by Clement Hurd
Age: Beginning Reader (2nd grade)
Harper Row, 1970
64 pages
Find this book at your local library 

Johnny Lion has a terrible cold and has to stay in bed all day as per mother’s orders. Only, Johnny Lion is haunted by terrible nightmares and can’t get any rest.

This book is somewhat creepy. It’s actually really creepy and dated. The crayon style illustrations are in a few colors; gold for the lion, red for the tongue, black for the owl, pink for the rabbit. The illustrations are somewhat…rough around the edges. The storyline is also eerie. Every time Johnny is given a dose of the red cold medicine, he starts to hallucinate. The hallucinations go away when Johnny sneezes three times. Knowing when the book was written, I might just be projecting preconceived notions. The book is also dated in that the mom cleans the house and cooks all day while Johnny’s father is at work. 

Although this could make for an OK read for a child stuck at home with a cold, I think there are probably some better contemporary versions out there.

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