David Gets In Trouble

by David Shannon, Illustrated By David Shannon

The Blue Sky Press
September 2002

Ages 4 – 8 . Grades PreK – 3

Library of Congress: 2001043980

Lexile measure: BR160L

DRA: 12

Guided Reading: G


"When David gets in trouble, he always says . . . 'NO! It's not my fault! I didn't mean to! It was an accident!'" Whatever the situation, David's got a good excuse. And no matter what he's done "wrong," it's never really his fault.

Soon, though, David realizes that making excuses makes him feel bad, and saying he's sorry makes him feel better. Once again, David Shannon entertains us with young David's mischievous antics and a lighthearted story that's sure to leave kids (and parents) laughing.
David Shannon

David Shannon is the internationally acclaimed creator of more than 30 picture books, including No, David!, a Caldecott Honor Book and his second New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year, and four more David picture books. Shannon's bestsellers include A Bad Case of Stripes, Duck on a Bike, and Too Many Toys. His most recent book was the New York Times bestseller Grow Up, David!. He lives in Southern California with his family and Roy, their West Highland White Terrier.


  • That irrepressible fellow with the Charlie Brown head is back, trailing a whole new slew of disasters in his wake. In this follow-up to No, David! and David Goes to School, Shannon finally lets David get a word in edgewise as in "No! It's not my fault!" and "It was an accident!" In a series of hilarious snapshots of trouble-in-progress, David hurtles from one scrape to another. Anyone can sympathize with David's trials and tribulations, whether he is scowling at his breakfast ("Do I have to?"), pulling the cat's tail ("But she likes it!") or sitting sullenly on the bathroom floor, soap wedged firmly in mouth ("But Dad says it!"). The exuberant artwork crackles with energy and color (including backdrops in lime green and bittersweet orange), as Shannon carefully hews to a child's-eye view of the world (adults appear only as limbs and torsos). This memorable character is nothing short of a force of nature, from his scribbled eyes and hair to his shark-sharp teeth. In the end, it's a confession ("Yes! It was me!") that allows him a peaceful night's sleep, with a woman's tender hand and an "I love you, mom" hovering over his angelic (for now at least) round head. Readers will gladly call for "More, David!"--Publishers Weekly, June 24th 2002, starred review
    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.--Kirkus Reviews, August 1st 2002
    David is back, and he is still causing a commotion. This time, he is sure that he is not to blame for every disaster that befalls him. The illustrations clearly show the dilemmas he has created, but his words in childlike print tell why he feels his mother should not be angry with him. "It was an accident" excuses his baseball crashing through a window. "I forgot" is his laughing rejoinder as he walks to school in his underwear. "But she likes it!" explains why he is pulling on the cat's tail. Talking with a bar of soap in his mouth, he complains, "But Dad says it!" When he stands guiltily next to a previously beautifully decorated cake with chocolate all over his face, he says, "No, it wasn't me!" However, the next spread shows him sitting up in bed, crying out, "Yes! It was me! I'm sorry," and he is patted by his mother as he tells her he loves her. The contemporary stylistic art is just right for depicting the boy's antics and his high-energy personality. David's comments in handwritten text sympathetically and humorously show his childlike reasoning and his eventual willingness to take responsibility for his actions. The front cover shows him sitting on a stool having a time out, and the back cover is filled with an array of timers, each one showing one minute passing. Children who enjoyed No, David (1998) and David Goes to School (1999, both Scholastic) will welcome this lighthearted sequel.--School Library Journal, September 1st 2002, starred review