Fortunately
Remy Charlip
1964

We are enamored with Fortunately around here! One of the rare books we have kept the entire three weeks from the library AND read it multiple times along the way. It’s a terrific introduction for young children to suspense and irony. The first time we read it aloud, there wasn’t a lot of reaction except for, “read it again!” By the third or fourth time through, everyone was laughing uproariously and pretending to guess what was coming. What makes this book so funny?

The pages of the book alternate between good things that are happening to Ned (“fortunately”) and bad things (“unfortunately”). The 2-page spreads for the “fortunately” events are bright and colorful, like the cover image above. The 2-page spreads for the “unfortunately” events are black and white, somber. The “plot” reads much like my 4- and 6-year-olds’ stories that they make up: seemingly random until it all winds up tidily at the end.

Giving credit where credit is due, we first discovered this book via Betsy Bird’s blog when she linked an old video of her reading the book (my kids thought she was me… we do kind of look alike, I guess… well, we share the same first name and love of children’s books–that’s for sure!) Scroll down to see her reading this particular book.

Recommended read aloud to preschool and up

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