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"No, David!" by David Shannon Review and Preschool Lesson Plan

Carolyn writes about children's literature for library, preschool, or homeschool settings. She has a BA in English Literature.

"No David!" by David Shannon will make your holy terror look like an angel!

"No David!" by David Shannon will make your holy terror look like an angel!

No David! Story Summary

No, David! (ISBN 0590930028) is the first in a series of children's picture books starring author David Shannon's alter ego, a sharp-toothed little child who is delightfully naughty.

This book's illustrations are brightly colored and outrageous, using a playful, childish style to depict situations that are fantastic but which evoke realistic emotions in children and their parents. Even young toddlers will like this book in which the young David gets into trouble time and time again until finally, David's mother makes him sit in the corner. Like any good parent, she reminds him of her unconditional love for him with a big hug.

With simple text and vivid color, this book invokes a message of cause and effect in misbehavior while sending the reassuring message that even "bad boys" are loved.

My toddler son (under age 2) delights in the misbehavior of the little imp who stars in this book. The text is easy and repetitive ("No, David, No!"), and the actual words and length of the book are short. This makes it a good book to read to an age two and up crowd.

I strongly recommend this vivid children's book for its humorous approach to the topic of children's misbehavior and ultimately following the rules. It will keep your children laughing from beginning to end.

"Oh, David!" by David Shannon

"Oh, David!" by David Shannon







Parental Love



David gets into more hijinx in David Gets in Trouble.

David gets into more hijinx in David Gets in Trouble.

Preschool Lesson Plan for No David!

Songs and Action Rhymes

These songs complement No David! nicely. Misbehaving monkeys are a fun addition to singing time, and reinforce the idea that behavior has consequences, in a silly way, of course. Monkeys and the Alligator and Five Little Monkeys are favorites!

  • If You're Happy and You Know It...Clap Your Hands
  • Do As I'm Doing (This easy-to-learn and catchy song is a mimicking game.)
  • Monkeys and the Alligator action rhyme
  • Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed action rhyme

Five Little Monkeys and the Alligator Action Rhyme

Five little monkeys swinging in the tree (Hold up five fingers on your hand)
Teasing Mr. Alligator, "Can't catch me, can't catch me" (hold up index finger while waving hand back and forth)
Along came Mr. Alligator, quiet as can be (Whisper this, place hands together, palms touching, and weave them about like an alligator swimming in a river)
Snap! (bring arms together in snapping motion, then pause dramatically).

Four little monkeys swiings in the tree... (Repeat the rhyme, counting backward until you get to one)

One little monkey swinging in the tree,
Teasing Mr. Alligator, "Can't catch me, can't catch me"
Along came Mr. Alligator, quiet as can be.
No more monkeys sitting in the tree.

Sing or read the Five Little Monkeys songs  about misbehavior.  Eileen Christelow's books are variations on these fun preschool songs.

Sing or read the Five Little Monkeys songs about misbehavior. Eileen Christelow's books are variations on these fun preschool songs.

Transition Ideas

  • If you can hear me...touch your nose.
  • If you can hear me...stand up.
  • If you can hear me...jump up and down.
  • If you can hear me...turn around.
  • If you can hear me...sit down.
  • Remember, the finest art of storytelling is in keeping your children's attention. Be ready to read as soon as most of the kids are ready to listen.


Pre-read this book by pointing to the front cover and asking the children if the little boy looks like someone who does what he is supposed to. Does he follow the rules?

Read the story with feeling, changing the tone and pitch of your voice as the mother in the story becomes more and more exasperated. Use a softer, more understanding voice for the last page, where David's mother says she loves him.

If your group is over age 3, reread the story. This time, ask the children to participate. Tell them every time you raise your hand, you want them to say, "No, David, No!" The children will enjoy helping you tell the story in this way.


For smaller groups, instead of a craft, if you have the space, play one or both of the following games. Remember to keep it simple for younger ages.

  • Simon Says
  • Red Light-Green Light

Art Activities

Finger painting with shaving cream is a wonderfully fun and messy activity that will make your students feel a little bit naughty. The video shows how to make shaving cream finger paint using inexpensive shaving cream and food coloring. The food coloring can stain hands temporarily. Use household objects like plastic forks to add texture and pattern to the painting.

More Children's Stories to Read for a Misbehavior Theme

If you are developing a unit on obedience, following the rules, misbehavior, or consequences, consider the following thematically related stories and book titles:

  • Bad Cat by Nicola O'Byrne
  • Bat Kitty by Nick Bruel
  • Goldilocks and the Three Bears by James Marshall
  • Lily's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
  • The Gingerbread Boy by Paul Galdone
  • Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

© 2008 Carolyn Augustine


Enlydia Listener from trailer in the country on February 26, 2012:

This is a very helpful hub, with a lot of extras.

Carolyn Augustine (author) from Iowa on August 17, 2011:

Fabulous Kaie! I hope my articles can have some small impact. That would mean so much!

Kaie Arwen on July 13, 2011:

wannabewestern- Hey there- I am working with children who have severe autism this summer......... I googled this to get some ideas.......... and here you are! Thank you! Kaie

Carolyn Augustine (author) from Iowa on July 15, 2010:

Hi Kathleen! This book is so delightfully naughty and it does have simple text. I can see why it was your daughter's first. Great books like this have a timeless power and make an indelible impression. Great that she is continuing the reading tradition with your other kids.

Kathleen Staley on July 14, 2010:

This was actually, the very first book my oldest daughter ever read on her own. She's now ten years old and delights in the role she plays as big sister by helping our youngest how to read it. Great review!

Carolyn Augustine (author) from Iowa on April 17, 2008:

Thanks for the warm compliment! This is an area that really brings all of my passions together. I am hoping to do more of this so the information can be shared and used by anyone who would find it helpful. More hubs like this are coming.

In The Doghouse from California on April 17, 2008:


Wow! This is an awesome book review. I love that you included a whole lesson plan idea around the book. This would be great for teachers or home schoolers. Maybe you should add something like that to your tags. Great job, welcome to Hubpages.