- Virginia Johnson
When David Shannon was five-years-old, he wrote a book about himself. On each page, there were different pictures of that showed the story of how he was so very good at getting into trouble. Each page had the words, "No, David!"
Many years later, David was mostly grown-up. He had graduated from high school and gone on to art school. He worked as an illustrator, drawing for books in a rather mature way to go along with stories written by other writers and sometimes himself. He drew amazing pictures of Columbus and the New World, Paul Bunyan's family, pirates, knights, acrobats and baseball players.
When it came to him that he wanted to share the first story he wrote with the wide world, he tried to tell it with the same kind of mostly realistic pictures he had usually drawn, but it just didn't work. To get back to the funny place his five-year-old self had known, David started to draw like a kid again. That worked!
No, David! is not a pretty picture book. It is a funny book, and it is true to the spirit of kidhood. David does all sorts of naughty things, with his parents correcting him and pleading all the while. Despite its lack of beauty, No, David! won the prestigious Caldecott Honor in 1999. It shares a lot of the zesty, kid-friendly spirit that shines in a long-ago, still classic Caldecott winner, Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are.
David Shannon has created some cool friends, human and furry, to share with his readers, along with silly stories of days gone wrong:
The Rain Came Down
Rainy days can make everybody grumpy, from the chickens to the pizza delivery guy. And, when people are grumpy accidents and misunderstandings will happen, one on top of another. Good thing the sun always eventually comes out, bringing a brighter day for everybody.
Alice the Fairy
Once she dons her fairy costume, Alice IS a fairy, at least a temporary one. She can fly—just not too high or too fast, and she faces down the dread dangers of bathtime and broccoli.
A Bad Case of Stripes
On the first day of school, Camille just wants to fit in with her classmates. Too bad she wakes up with a bad case of stripes!
Duck on a Bike
Bikes are fun for everyone, including ducks, cows, cats, and goats. A silly barnyard book to enjoy.
Good Boy, Fergus!
A cute, white dog named Fergus gets into lots of trouble—food-begging, daisy-eating, puddle-making trouble. Fergus is based on David Shannon's own dog, whom he has drawn into many of his picture books.
Find David Online
There are not many print articles about David Shannon, but you can find written interviews and video discussions online.
David Shannon's Interview
Teachers and students at Highland Park Elementary ask the author about A Bad Case of Stripes, the David books, the Fergus books, his writing, his illustrations, and his family.
Meet the Author/Illustrator David Shannon
CBC Magazine (Children's Book Council)
David Shannon tells of his rainy day book, his pirate books, and his David books. Includes biographical notes.
2004 National Book Festival Web Cast: David Shannon
Watch the Web cast of Shannon's 2004 appearance at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.
A Video Interview with David Shannon
"In this exclusive video interview with Reading Rockets, David Shannon talks about his love for bright colors, his distaste for lima beans, and where he gets the ideas for his books."
You can watch the video or read the transcript.
Photo Credit: Vroman's Bookstore Blog Features David Shannon