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I can't help but smile when I look at Ciao's specific criterion Would I read it again. Well for this book the answer is certainly yes - and again and again and again. I have read this book so many times the first copy was becoming quite worn and a newer copy was purchased for my youngest son. This means moth boys will have their own copies when grown as well and I am definatley saving this book. I bought the first copy about 5 years ago, and I don't think a week has gone by without reading it since. In fact I have read this at least once every day for the last few months straight. This has come in quite handy, as even reading to the children has been a bit difficult after an accident - but I can "read" this with my eyes closed. It is completly committed to memory.
There really is not much of a story, the whole book consists of David getting into one form of trouble after another, from tipping over the cookie jar, to coming in covered in mud (and even the odd worm), and running down the street naked, to breaking Mom's vase playing baseball in the house. There are very few words other then "NO" and "DAVID". For this reason, I think a spoiler is fair enough, which is given at the end of this review, along with one the things I love most about this book, but if you prefer to avoid spoilers, please skip the final paragraph.
The text to this book is in large black crayon, and there is only one short sentence per page. My 3 year old can recite the whole book, but he can also, if he thinks about it read a single word when you point them out as well. This is because the book is so familiar, and I noticed the words in this story were very quickly picked by my oldest as well.
The illustrations are also rather crude, but they have their own charm. David is drawn much like a child's drawing, although the artists talent is obvious in the rest of each illustration. He has small black scribbled in eyes and large sharp teeth. Some reviewers have said he was frightening. He is also cited as a bad influence by many. One reviewer mentioned her son wanting to do all the things David did. Well we did just that. We set up each seen, and let my son read a page and then act it out. We filmed it and have a brilliant movie. We plan to make one for the youngest boy as well. My son's do enjoy seeing David misbehave, but they also know it is bad behaviour and they can not generally do the same.
My sons love everything about this book. My oldest says the David books were his very favourite picture books, and even at almost 7, he still loves these. My youngest says they are the best books and he requests them every night. I imagine all children end up hearing the word "No" a bit too often. This book really gives you an idea how a child feels, and I am sure my sons do relate to it. But most of all it is just a very funny story unlike anything else we have come across. It is a truly delightful read that I think would make a book lover out of almost any child. My oldest was 2 when we got this, and loved it right away. The youngest has enjoyed this book from the age of 1, and at 3 it is currently his very favourite.
This book does not appear to be in print anymore, at least not in English but used copies are readily available from £ 2.81 including postage through Amazon. Do be aware that this is also printed in Spanish and a hard back version of this entiled !No David is currently available at £9.24. I would note that the Spainish language versions seem to have the ! at the front and back of the title, while the English version only has one. Also the Spanish version is listed as "Coleccion Rascacielos"
****** SPOILER ALERT ! ***********
Although David misbehaves through out the story in the end his mother tells him
"Yes David, I Love You" with the gentle reassurance that Mom's always love their sons no matter what. Quite a comfort for the average toddler who cant help but make a bit of mischief. We always finish this story with
"Because Mommies always always love their boys, no matter what".