09 July 2009

Yes, David!

You can't go wrong with a David Shannon book. Whether it's his David series or another gem, he writes great books for boys.

We checked a couple of his books (No, David! and Too Many Toys) out of the library on our last visit. This morning, I found Isaac on his bed looking at Too Many Toys, quietly providing his own narration for the pictures. Now, he was supposed to be getting dressed when I peeked in, but how could I fuss when he was "wasting" time by looking at a book?

A David Shannon favorite in our house is Duck on a Bike. It never fails to get a laugh. What duck wouldn't want to ride a bike? And how could the other farm animals resist when they see how much fun it is? His books are infused with a great sense of humor, and occasionally a touch of sweetness. The illustrations are child-like and the situations his characters find themselves in are ones that many children will understand.

One of my favorites, that I have not yet shared with Isaac, is A Bad Case of Stripes. The main character suffers from an affliction that is common among children -- she wants to please everyone and finds it hard to remember what will please her. It has a great message for boys and girls.

Even Shannon's girl characters will appeal to boys. Boys, more so than girls, want to read about other boys. But the characters in Shannon's books, whether male or female, are universally appealing. Alice, the main character in Alice the Fairy, has a rich imaginary life to which all children will relate. The boys might imagine themselves as Luke Skywalker rather than a fairy, but her exuberance and joy in her imaginary occupation will be familiar to them.

And the best thing about Shannon's books is that they can be enjoyed by parents as well as kids. He understands children, but he also knows that his books will be even more well-received, and read more often, if the parents enjoy them, too. Every parent has had a No, David! day. But, when it is over, we all give our sons a hug and tell them how much they are loved. If you have trouble remembering to do that after a particularly David-like day-- keep this book on hand and you will never forget.

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