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by David Shannon & illustrated by David Shannon

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-439-05022-7
Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Excuses, excuses. Shannon’s potatohead (No, David, 1998; David Goes to School, 1999), born to be trouble, is back. “No,” ever a part of David’s elder’s vocabulary, is now part of David’s. “No, it’s not my fault,” for instance. David has learned the fine art of excuse-making: I didn’t mean to, it was an accident, I forgot, the dog ate it (as the dog peers through the classroom window, homework in his mouth, giving David’s excuses a two-edged appeal). Shannon’s double-paged spreads are active in mood, color, and sight gags as David unfurls one excuse after another: “I was hungry,” as he chows a dog biscuit; “I couldn’t help it,” as he cracks a crazy face for the class photo; “But Dad says it,” with a bar of soap sticking out of his mouth. As usual, the adults are seen only in pieces, David is clearly the focal point, beginning with the title page, Mom seen only from the chest down, hands on hips, one foot tapping. Then, in the trademark finish, David offers up an apology, “Yes! It was me!” ready to take the heat, “I’m sorry,” his head taking up both pages, before he murmurs, “I love you, Mom.” Disarming as he always is—what a blessing he lives on the page and not in our lives. (Picture book. 3-6)