Follow This Blog: RSS feed
A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Top 100 Picture Books #88: No, David! by David Shannon

#88 No, David! by David Shannon (1998)
23 points

One of my favorite “naughty boy” books! – Margo Tanenbaum

It was #32 last time and has sunk to #88.  How to account for the drop?  Well, he could have split his own vote, you know.  With sequels David Goes to School and David Gets in Trouble out there, Davy could easily have caused readers to pick and choose amongst his various low-key and exceedingly naughty adventures.  And as one voter mentioned to me, kids adore David . . . particularly when he’s running buck naked down the street.

A description from the Kirkus review: “This autobiographical (according to the author’s note) story from Shannon (A Bad Case of Stripes) features a young hellion, also named David, who is forever at the receiving end of a sharp ‘No!’ Among his prime escapades: overreaching for the cookie jar, excavating his nose, tracking mud on the carpet, pounding pots, playing with food, making a naked escape from the house. ‘That’s enough,’ his mother shouts, and other familiar adult admonishments show up as well: be quiet, come back here, go to your room, settle down, stop that this instant, not in the house. This last comes as David prepares for a little indoor hardball. Does he listen? Does he break a vase? Does he get sent to the corner, nose to the wall? Readers or listeners will be gripped by this episode right out of their own lives, through to the stray tear, the look of contrition, and the moment of redemption.”

I met David Shannon once, and a nicer guy you couldn’t find.  So the idea that this David is in any way, shape, or form related to THAT David is baffling to me.  I mean talk about a soft-spoken, infinitely sweet feller.  I mean maybe he likes to make Kick Me signs and surreptitiously place them on the backs of his fellow authors, but somehow I doubt it.

The strange thing about the David books for me is that they don’t bug me.  I know that sounds kind of crass, but if you were to describe the David series to me without my having seen it, I would assume that it wouldn’t be the kind of thing I was into.  This, as we see, is not the case.  I’m a David fan, no question.  I like both him and his sequels.  Now I’m just waiting for the Duck on a Bike sequel.

  • To read the book, just go here.

Publishers Weekly said of it, “Readers won’t be able to resist taking a walk on the wild side with this little rascal, and may only secretly acknowledge how much of him they recognize in themselves.”

School Library Journal added, “This book is perfect for reading aloud. Children will relish the deliciously bad behavior and the warm and cuddly conclusion.”

The New York Times Book Review
section put in, “…[A] hilarious compilation of toddlers’ wrongdoings….Parents might weary of the chastising tone….Children…will recognize immediately that they have found a kindred spirit.”

And Kirkus put in its two cents with, “David is a small, snaggle-toothed piehead whose mischief—for those who don’t have to clean up after him—is nothing short of exhilarating.”

Reading that Kirkus review makes me wish that I had been the first person to call David snaggle-toothed.  So perfect.

Now enjoy an adorable child as she “reads” No, David herself:

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. I raised three boys, one of them named David. In my house your last caption was not ‘bare’ naked but “butt’ naked. If David had been running the other direction he would have been penis naked.

    The class picture in DAVID GETS IN TROUBLE, where he alone is making a face, could have been drawn off my David’s second grade picture.

    I, understandably, have much fondness for these books.

  2. It’s interesting, these books always irritated me–not for David, who seems like a pretty typical little kid, but for the mom who can’t seem to say a single positive thing to her kid until he actually has to ask if she loves him or not. Always bothered me.