No, David!

If there’s one word that parents use more often than not, its ‘No.’ We all know that we should tell our kids what they should do more often than we say what they shouldn’t do (after all if all you says is ‘don’t do that’ pretty soon kids have nothing to do) and we all know that just saying ‘no’ over and over again doesn’t usually get us to where we want to be. But what if your kid is being a holy terror? In No, David! Author David Shannon addresses the very common experience parents have when it comes to trying to deal with your naughty youngster.

no david by david shannon

What Happens in No, David?

Author David Shannon wrote a story when he was a little boy called ‘No David’ about all the things he’d get told off for. When he discovered it years later, he decided to re write it. Lo and behold, we now have a story that is loved by kids and… some adults.

Meet David, a young boy who is the definition of naughty. He can wreak havoc in any and all ways imaginable. He sneaks cookies, he tracks mud everywhere, he floods the bathtub, he plays baseball in the house…essentially he is a parent’s worst nightmare. Despite his mother constantly telling him “No!” he continues to make a mess of things. Still, his mother’s love transcends all his mischief and at the very end of the book she makes this well known.

Using lively pen strokes and illustrations telling much of the story, David Shannon brings to life the spirited nature of young children that often lands them directly in line with the word ‘no.’

no david

Yes…Or No?

I am going to put this bluntly; David scares the crap out of me. He has a mouth full of pointy teeth, a horrible snub nose, dark malicious eyes, and a mouth full of pointy teeth (the teeth really unnerve me.)

Adults aren’t necessarily going to be a fan of this book as it depicts a child as the main character in such a ‘negative’ light. What’s positive about reading your child a book about a boy their age that only gets into trouble and is bombarded with the word ‘No’ by his mother?


While this isn’t a book to teach manners, there is a good side to it. We may not view it as a good thing, but children see it differently. Here they get a character that for once misbehaves-the entire book. They love that ‘realness’ about him. David just taps into a side that all children have. The coloring-on-the-walls-run –naked-down-the- street- spread-yogurt- on-the floors side.

I say yogurt because once upon a time my sister and I spread yogurt all over the kitchen floor, “skated” on it with sponges, then covered the dining room floor with peanuts and ran over them with one of those little kiddie bikes. Then we hid behind a curtain.

The point is all little kids have a David, whether we’d like to admit it or not, and as much as we might gripe about the mother only chastising him, at some point all exhausted parents simply spit out the word “no.” I say ‘yes’ to this book if you’re willing to have a sense of humor about it (and you don’t mind the teeth) and ‘no’ if you won’t be able to keep your cool in the context of David’s antics. Chances are either way, your child will find it humorous.

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