Author's Notes, Authors and Illustrators

David Gets in Trouble Author's Note

  • Grades: Early Childhood, PreK–K

David Shannon's Author's Note
David Gets in Trouble

David Gets in Trouble is the third book in a series about a mischievous little boy who can't seem to stay out of trouble. The first book in the series, No, David! is based on a book I made as a little boy. The original version was also called "No, David!" and was illustrated with drawings of David doing all sorts of things he wasn't supposed to do. The text consisted entirely of the words "no" and "David." (They were the only words I knew how to spell!) For the new version, I decided to expand the text to include lots of familiar ways that moms say "no." Hundreds of years ago, I bet moms were saying things like, "Don't play with your food!"; "Stop that this instant"; and "Settle down!" And they'll probably still be staying them hundreds of years in the future.

When you're a kid, who says "no" to you the most besides your mom and dad? Right — your teacher! That's what the second book, David Goes to School, is about. David learns to behave himself ("Sit down, David!"), obey school rules ("Don't chew gum in class!"), get along with others ("Keep your hands to yourself!"), and pay attention ("PAY ATTENTION!").

In David Gets in Trouble, it's David's turn to speak, and it turns out "no" is a big part of his vocabulary, too. Of course, when his mom says "no," it's because she worries about his safety and wants him to grow up to be a good person. Deep down, she's really saying, "I love you." But when David says "no," it usually means, "I don't want to get in trouble!" Just like the things mom say, kids' excuses haven't changed much over the years either. And David knows all of them — "I didn't mean to!", "It was an accident!", "I couldn't help it!" Sound familiar?

Kids ask me all the time if I was really as bad as David when I was a boy. Well, I was a handful, but I wasn't that bad! Some of the stuff in the books are things my brother, my nephew, or my friends did. My brother actually started off for school without his pants on, but I was the idiot who made a face for the class picture. Anyway, I rolled all these stories together and made David do all of them! After all, I don't know any kid who gets in that much trouble. Do you?

  • Subjects:
    Childhood Behaviors, Early Social Skills, Manners and Conduct
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