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Yes! -- Everybody Will Love No, David!

Share Another great read-aloud from author David Shannon! A glorious tribute to the most dreaded syllable a kid could ever hear -- "No!" -- and to parental love! Included: Ideas for extending No, David! in the classroom. Also, a "Win A Visit from the Author" contest!

No David Book Cover

Every child -- and every adult -- will relate to David Shannon's latest book everybody who can recall being told "No!" by a parent, that is! Author David Shannon (see an Education World story about his A Bad Case of Stripes) does it again with a winning look at parental love, a love that means often having to say the dreaded N word -- No!

When David Shannon was five years old, he wrote and illustrated his first book. On every page were the two words he knew how to spell -- "No" and "David." Each page included a picture of David doing something that he wasn't supposed to do.

A few years ago, Shannon's mother sent to him his first, long-forgotten, literary effort. In No, David!, new from Scholastic's Blue Sky Press, Shannon has lovingly recreated his book -- a grand celebration of the universal "No!"


Taking a cookie without being asked. Not picking up after play. Picking your nose. All of those acts elicited a resounding "No, David!" -- or some derivative thereof -- from young Shannon's loving mother.

In No, David!, a grown-up David Shannon offers a veritable encyclopedia of "No"! The words are simple. (How many ways can you say "no"? Shannon heard them all, and includes them all!) The energetic illustrations are inspired!

Best of all is little David's facial expressions! They speak volumes about the innocent and not-so-innocent acts of childhood that provoke the dreaded two-letter word! We see little David's dumfounded innocence at the muddy footprints on the living room carpet -- even in the face of indisputable circumstantial evidence! Witness the glee as he creates an imaginary friend from the food on his plate. We see his frustration as he is sent off to his room for some unnamed offense -- just as his favorite TV-hero show is about to begin! Finally, we see a contrite David sitting in the corner, a tear in his eye, surrounded by broken shards of a vase.

Shannon captures all the little nuances to "No!" The book's back cover is wall-to-wall "No" printed in recognizable kid scrawl. The title page illustration shows mother from mid-chest down, in the universal "no" stance -- hands on hips, toe pointed upward! No words or facial expressions needed!

But, it is the closing pages of No, David! that put a winning spin on the book. The word "no" is, after all, a true sign of a parent's love.


No, David! is a real treat -- a wonderful read-aloud book for students of any age, adult students included. But, before you read it, why not ask your students to think of all the times as a child (or teen or adult) that they heard the dreaded "No!"? What were they doing to inspire a parent to utter that feared syllable? Invite your students to draw a picture of the law-breaking act. When students complete their illustrations, open the floor to a class show-and-tell. Then share Shannon's ode to "No!"

Or, do an about-face. Read the book first, then invite students to mimic Shannon's kidlike style -- and penmanship -- as they create their own "No, [David]!" illustrations. Create a class monument to "No!"


Scholastic is celebrating "No!" -- with a contest! Just answer the question:

What is the naughtiest behavior from a child you have witnessed in your library?

Share your tale with the folks at Scholastic. One entry will be selected. That winning entrant's school will enjoy a personal visit from author David Shannon! For more information, and an entry form, click here.

No, David!, new from Scholastic's Blue Sky Press, is available in bookstores everywhere. If you have trouble locating a copy, ask your bookseller to order one for you or contact Scholastic, Inc., 555 Broadway, New York, NY 10012.

Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World® Editor-in-Chief
Copyright © 1998 Education World

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