Parents will be quick to jump to the conclusion that there can be nothing appealing in a tale of an ugly kid who breaks things. And certainly--from that adult perspective--there's something off-putting about the illustrations of David, with his potato head, feral eyes, and a maniacal grin that exposes ferociously pointed teeth. But 3- and 4-year-olds see things differently, and will find his relentless badness both funny and liberating. "No, David," wails the off-stage mother, as David reaches for the cookie jar. "No! No! No!" as he makes a swamp out of the bathroom. "Come back here, David!" as he runs naked down the street. Each vivid double-page illustration is devoted to a different youthful indiscretion and a different vain parental plea. Readers will be amused to know that the protagonist's name is no accident: award-winning writer-illustrator David Shannon wrote the book after discovering a similar effort that he had made, again with himself at the center of each drawing, at the age of 5. (Ages 3 to 6) --Richard Farr
From Publishers Weekly
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. Ages 2-up.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.