When author and artist David Shannon was five years old, he wrote a semi-autobiographical story of a little kid who broke all his mother’s rules. He chewed with his mouth open (and full of food), he jumped on the furniture, and he broke his mother’s vase! As a result, all David ever heard his mother say was “No, David!” Here is his story.
David is your typical boisterous lover of action, but being on the little side, he doesn’t see the disasters he might cause until it is too late. Poor David gets into all sorts of strife, but after the trouble is past, there’s always a pair of loving arms.
No wonder No David! was a Caldecott Honor Book. Full of story, yet light on words, No David! is rich and full of discussion starters for adults and little ones. Each time I sit with the adorable double-page spreads I can hear a variation of the dialogue that might occur between David and his carers.
What do you think will happen? What could possibly go wrong? Why would you say ‘no’ to that? What could you do instead? Sometimes David is simply being a boisterous boy, so there can also be discussions about what is dangerous and what is not.
When disasters are so humorously depicted, it’s safe to giggle at troubles closer to home. Perhaps children who read this book can draw ‘no David’ pages from their own experiences, and follow up with their own happy endings.
No David! is a timeless classic and likely to be a re-read favorite, especially for those who are ready to predict what might happen next.