No, David! By David Shannon

A Caldecott Honor Picture Book

Literary Elements Reflected in the Illustrations.

Throughout the book, No, David!, the illustrations lay down a foundation that the text cannot. In these pictures, the setting is found; David's house, and David's neighborhood. Without the pictures of his background, it would be impossible to imagine where David was getting in trouble. In order to fully understand the book, the illustrations create the setting, but also instills the theme of childish hand writing, messy actions and chaotic stories.
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Physical Features that Enhance the Reader's Experience

The pages of this book are large, lengthy pictures on flimsy card stock paper. This book lacks the normal amount of endpaper because of the formal definition by Meghan McCarthy in her Illustrators Guide by saying; "The endpapers consist of four pages––two in the front and two in the back. One side of each endpaper is attached to the cover boards." In this article, Meghan also references the importance of the cover page by saying, "The cover is the first thing a shopper will see. You will need to make it eye catching, bold, unique,and something that will invite the shopper to view the inside." In this book, the cover depicts a great clip of the overlying events throughout the story.

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Visual Elements that Contribute to the Overall Meaning

  • The use of diagonal lines within the illustrations creates a visual sense of movement and motion. However, the background remains horizontal, in the hopes of maintaining a calming atmosphere that most households strive for.
  • The vivid colors create an emotional response to each page. The household background consists of yellow and green. This is the warmth, caution, and calming environment the illustrator tries to create, in order to show the dynamics of the setting.
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In this specific illustration, many things are going on.

From the obvious diagonal lines that David is creating this is an example of how movement and motion are incorporated through lines. The lower part of the image has thin, vertical lines on the base of the walls. This is to create an elegant background setting and also making the viewer aware of the height of the action by the height of the base boards.

Artistic Media

From the biography of David Shannon, he says that, "his stories are vibrant, imaginative pictures. Working with acrylic paints, he creates characters and settings that both illustrate and expand the story being told. His artwork is richly colored, and the results can be funny, mischievous, ironic, sensational, spooky, serious, even epic."

Artistic Style

No, David! is a realistically styled book. Based off of the author's childhood, the disasters on each page are tangible ideas of what a child might create. However, the book has a sense of abstract are because of the child-like illustrations. The messy hand writing on the walls, the short dialogue and purposeful images create an amazing insight to a child's mind when experiencing childhood.
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Elements of Illustration

The illustrations of each page is very simplistic. There are no gutters, empty space or unused opportunities. Because there are no gutters, there is also no use of framing. The sequence of the book is open to different ideas.

Interplay of Text and Illustrations

The text flows easily throughout the pages. Never is the page filled with text and lacking imagery. The text is a small excerpt inside the entire page. The text is short sentenced, quick to the point and supported by the development that David created. In order to enhance his book, David creates a child like book. This includes the illustrations of a young man, the language similar to the audience and overall becoming more interested in developing relationships with the desired audience.