No matter what little David does, his mother's reply is always the same: "No, David!" "That's enough, David!" "Come back here, David!" But despite the broken vase, the muddy carpet, and David's other mishaps, his mother pulls him close, and with a warm embrace, tells him, "Yes, David...I love you!" Inspired by a semiautobiographical story Shannon wrote as a child, this charming picture book is packed with fun-filled chaos, as well as a loving, reassuring message for parents and children alike. The raucous illustrations of little David doing everything he's not supposed to do are certain to charm both adults and children.
In this boisterous exploration of naughtiness, Shannon (How Georgie Radbourne Saved Baseball) lobs one visual zinger after another as David, a little dickens, careens from one unruly deed to the next--coloring on the walls, tracking mud all over the carpet, jumping on the bed in red cowboy boots. Meanwhile, all those timeless childhood phrases echo in the background: "Come back here!" "Be quiet!" "Not in the house, David!" and most vigorously--"No!" Shannon's pen whisks over the double-page spreads in a flurry of energy, as he gains perspective on an image of a bare-bottomed David cavorting down a quiet suburban street or closes in on the boy's face as he inserts a finger into his triangle nose, his button eyes tense with concentration, and perfectly round head looming larger than the pages. While Shannon gives David the purposeful look of a child's crude drawings, his background settings (the kitchen sideboard, a toy-littered TV room) are fully rendered, effectively evoking the boy's sense of displacement. This dead-on take on childhood shenanigans ends on a high note, with the penitent David (he broke a vase with a baseball) enfolded in his mother's arms as she assures him, "Yes, David, I love you." 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.