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Author David Shannon Spreads Unruly Christmas Cheer

51QbBYt2pCL._SL160_Award-winning author and illustrator David Shannon has released his latest rambunctious adventure in his David series just in time for the holidays. In the new picture book It’s Christmas, David! (The Blue Sky Press, 32pgs), the irresistibly naughty little boy faces new challenges and temptations as he struggles to keep himself on Santa’s “Nice” list in the days before Christmas. Shannon, who based the mischievous David on his younger self, has special empathy for kids at this time of year. “Christmas is when you get in the most trouble and you get told ‘no’ the most. There’s all this excitement that you have to be patient for,” he explains in a interview with the Los Angeles Times. But at the end of the book, Shannon also illustrates the upside to Christmas. “It’s the biggest ‘yes’ of the year when it finally comes. That’s the other side of being told no: The ‘yes’ that comes after it.”

The series of David picture books, which began with the Caldecott Honor winner No, David!, has origins that go back to Shannon’s own childhood. When the illustrator, a graduate of Art Center College of Design, was first asked to write his own children’s book in 1998, his mother gave him something she had saved for years – a small book drawn by Shannon when he was 5-years-old. The 8-page book illustrated the boy in several precarious situations and was narrated with the only two words he could spell at the time “no” and “David”. The seed for the series was then planted, and in reviewing his childhood drawings, the artist was driven to depart from the realistic style of his previous work and explore a different illustrative approach. …”[M]y books have gotten more toward humor and my palette has gotten brighter and my drawing has changed,” he states.

Editors Note: As an amusing aside, while paging through a copy of No, David! at my local library, I noticed the statement “best book ever” scrawled in childish handwriting across the title page. In general I don’t endorse defacing library books, but I was completely charmed by this impromptu review. The idea that a young child would love a book so much that he or she felt the need to declare it in writing, is to me, worth much more than any glowing review from an adult literary critic.

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