I Never Had Railroad Train Pajamas

…though I do have some with turquoise scotties that say “woof woof” in purple. I’m all for whimsical nightwear. But Alexander, my favorite Judith Viorst character, did have railroad train pajamas, which he hated, as much as he hated lima beans and kissing on tv. (Me, I like lima beans, and prefer kissing Fuzzy while *watching* tv, but…um…yeah…)

Received as a gift when I was all of five, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is one of my favorite books even today. It was written for children, but it’s not at all childish. I mean, who hasn’t dumped their sweater in the sink or felt like no matter what they do it’s somehow not enough at some point in their lives.

A few weeks ago, I wrote an entry in the style of Alexander…, which is now hidden away in a different database, but my love of the tale remains. There’s something about the rhythm and cadence that makes it as memorable as the story itself.

Some books are just like that.
Even when they’re kiddie-lit.

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 I Never Had Railroad Train Pajamas by Melissa Bartell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

9 thoughts on “I Never Had Railroad Train Pajamas

  1. OK, now I don’t feel so weird about my private little addiction: after the kids fall asleep, I tuck into their book shelves and read some of their books. I was perusing our youngest’s Sandra Boynton collection last night, and what you wrote about rhythm and cadence just slammed into my brain as I read it. How right you are.

  2. My favorite book when I was a kid was “The Monstrous Glissenglop”. I’ve never been able to find a print copy for my kids, which really sucks cuz now they’re too old for it. :)

  3. i LOVED alexander. my favorite kid’s book is Spence Makes Circles by Christa Chevalier. it’s out of print now, unfortunately, but it was hilarious.

  4. Oh it’s the mother again! But Miss Meliss, you had two long braids, big thick braids and you read that book to me with expression and emotion, and charm, I still see you att the kitchen table with your chin barely clearing the table reading with all of your heart.
    I will still often say “I had a terrible, horrible, very bad day” And then I think of Y-O-U!

  5. I worked in a Boys Club walk in center on the other side of the tracks. High school kids came in to hang out and avoid home, homework and other abuses. One night I read them Alexander & The Very BD Dy
    They were totally beguiled; maybe not for the same reasons as I was but they asked me to read it again and again.

  6. I don’t know if Jenn will ever go back to read this reply, but I just found The Monstrous Glissonglop for a friend – it was his favorite book growing up too. It’s spelled with an “o,” not an “e,” and although it is out of print it isn’t too difficult to find a used copy.

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