Children, though deeply senstive to their own feelings, are usually oblivious to the distress that their behaviour causes adults. A book in which a father comes home 'feeling tired and weary' and is met with familiar family strife is therefore balm to the soul .... The wit and cleverness of The Sorely Trying Day could not be more timely, and the book has a delicious ring of political satire that adults will enjoy. The prodigiously gifted American author Russell Hoban is best-known here for his classic fantasy novel Riddley Walker and also for The Mouse and His Child, but this picture book has not been published here before, and it's a peach. The absurdity of each crime (one child hurls paint at another merely for laughing 'in that peculiarly aggravating way') will make children of 6+ shriek with mortified recognition. It would make an excellent, and pointed, present from any grandparent or godparent (Amanda Craig Times)
Told in balanced, musical prose, and illustrated with restrained yet lively observation, this is a welcome reissue of a book showing the Hobans working in charming harmony. ( Carousel)
Father has had a sorely trying day, but what he finds when he comes home isn't going to make it any better. The cat is on top of the grandfather clock, and the dog is barking and trying to get at her, and all the children are "striking each other and speaking in unpleasantly harsh voices." Thus begins Russell and Lillian Hoban's wonderfully comic and deliciously quaint story of what lengths kids and adults will go to in order to pass the buck, before everyone owns up to having a part in the general mess and in the end things are fine. Unless, that is, it all begins again. . . .
The Sorely Trying Day is a classic picture book in which the beloved authors of Bread and Jam for Frances once again prove their power to both delight and instruct.
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