David Shannon

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David Shannon
Shannon in 2011, posing at an event in New York.
Shannon in 2011, posing at an event in New York.
Born (1959-10-05) October 5, 1959 (age 62)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
OccupationIllustrator, writer
GenreChildren's picture books

David Shannon (born October 5, 1959) is an American writer and illustrator of children's books. Shannon grew up in Spokane, Washington. He graduated from the Art Center College of Design and now lives in Los Angeles. In 1998 he won the Caldecott Honor for his No, David!. He has also written A Bad Case of Stripes, How Georgie Radbourn Saved Baseball, and The Amazing Christmas Extravaganza. Shannon illustrated Audrey Wood's The Bunyans, Rafe Martin's The Rough Face Girl, various books by Jane Yolen, including The Ballad of the Pirate Queens and Encounter, as well as Melinda Long's How I Became a Pirate[1] and Pirates Don't Change Diapers.

All About[edit]

David Shannon was born in Washington, D.C., but he also spent his childhood in Spokane, Washington. In an interview with Sonia Bolle in the Children's Literature Review (CLR), he said, "I loved Oliver Twist, but I liked the Artful Dodger more than Oliver. And I always thought the villains in Disney Movies were really cool."[2] Shannon said that this fondness for villains made him realize as a child that "you need both sides for a good story."[2]

David knew he had enjoyed drawing from the time he was able to hold a crayon. As a child, David Shannon was a disruptive child in school and while attending Hutton Elementary his teachers would allow him to draw murals. This would keep him away from disrupting his classmates while also having decorative walls drawn by him.[3]

As a student in high school, he decided early on that he wanted to have a career in an art field.[2] Shannon enjoyed making his own illustrations to books that he was reading in high school.[2] Shannon attended art school at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, and decided to focus on learning about political illustrations. In 1983, Shannon moved to New York City and began working for various magazines and newspapers. Two of his major jobs were for the New York Times and the Book Review.[2] These jobs brought Shannon's work increased exposure. His first book of illustrations was Julius Lester's How Many Spots Does a Leopard Have? (1989).[4]

Early life[edit]

Shannon's first book, was How Georgie Radbourn Saved Baseball (1994), where Shannon was able to incorporate his dark painting style, which came from his love of villains, with a story about baseball.[2]

Shannon's book No David! (1998) was named a Caldecott Honor Book in 1999. This book is the story of a mischievous child whose mother is always telling him 'no' But she reassures him at the end when she finally says, "Yes, David, I love you." According to a review in the CLR, "Readers won't be able to resist taking a walk on the wild side with this little rascal, and may only secretly acknowledge how much of him they recognize in themselves."[5]

Shannon followed No David! (1998) up with David Goes to School (1999) and David Gets in Trouble (2002). The latter was reviewed by Adele Greenlee, who stated that, "Children who enjoyed No, David! (1998) and David Goes to School (1999) will welcome this lighthearted sequel."[6]


An entry in the Eight Book of Junior Authors and Illustrators states, "Shannon tells his stories with vibrant, imaginative pictures. Working with acrylic paints, he creates characters and settings that both illustrate and expand the story being told. His artwork is richly colored, and the results can be funny, mischievous, ironic, sensational, spooky, serious, even epic." Shannon's work has been recognized by the American Library Association and the School Library Journal. As Dwight Garner said, "David Shannon is among this country's most respected children's book illustrators; in a field that has nearly as many award ceremonies each year as the television industry does, Shannon has taken home most of their prizes..."[7]

In The Rain Came Down (2000), an unexpected summer shower causes great chaos in a small neighborhood. This huge shower causes a line of temper tantrums, but when the clouds suddenly break, all of the sour moods go away.[8] A review for CLR said, "Shannon expertly uses vertiginous angles as he builds suspense, then calms things down with a set of subdued portraits and a view of a quiet afternoon picnic."[8]


Personal life[edit]

Shannon lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Heidi, and his daughter, Emma (b. 1998).[4] Shannon is working on the screenplay for Georgie Radbourn, for a DreamWorks live-action film.


title series or notes format
  It's Christmas, David! David  
Feb 2005 Oh, David! Diaper David board book
1994 How Georgie Radbourn Saved Baseball    
  The Ballad of the Pirate Queens Jane Yolen  
Sep 1996 Encounter Jane Yolen  
  The Bunyans Audrey Wood  
Sep 2003 How I Became a Pirate    
Sep 1998 No David! David hardcover
  The Acrobat and the Angel Mark Shannon  
Oct 2008 Too Many Toys    
Sep 2005 David Smells! Diaper David boardbook
Sep 2002 David Gets in Trouble David hardcover
Mar 2007 Pirates Don't Change Diapers    
Feb 2005 Oops! Diaper David board book
Aug 1999 David Goes To School David hardcover
Apr 2002 Duck on a Bike    
  Duck and a Book    
  The Rough-Face Girl Rafe Martin  
  Robot Zot Jon Scieszka  
  Amazing Christmas Extravaganza    
Mar 2006 Good Boy, Fergus!    
Jan 2009 Smash That Trash! Jon Scieszka's Trucktown  
Oct 2004 Alice The Fairy    
Jun 2008 Who's That Truck? Jon Scieszka's Trucktown  
  Kat's Mystery Gift Jon Scieszka's Trucktown  
  Kat's Maps Jon Scieszka's Trucktown  
Jun 2008 Meet Jack Truck! Jon Scieszka's Trucktown  
Sep 2008 What a Wreck! Jon Scieszka's Trucktown  
Oct 2008 Melvin Might? Jon Scieszka's Trucktown  
Sep 2008 Snow Trucking! Jon Scieszka's Trucktown  
Jun 2008 Pete's Party Jon Scieszka's Trucktown  
  Truckery Rhymes Jon Scieszka's Trucktown  
Oct 2000 The Rain Came Down    
Jun 2008 Zoom! Boom! Bully Jon Scieszka's Trucktown  
Jan 2009 On the Move! Jon Scieszka's Trucktown  
Sep 2006 Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? Marla Frazee  
Oct 2002 A Bad Case of Stripes    
Jan 2009 Uh-Oh, Max Jon Scieszka's Trucktown  


  1. ^ "How I Became A Pirate". Archived from the original on 2010-08-10. Retrieved 2010-06-25.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Bolle, S (2003), "David Shannon: A Merry Prankster", S. Peacock (Ed.)Children's Literature Review, Detroit: Gale Publishers Weekly, 87 (29): 168–169 Retrieved April 29, 2009, from Literature Resource Center via Gale
  3. ^ "David's Bio | David Shannon". Retrieved 2021-04-29.
  4. ^ a b c "David Shannon", Something About The Author, Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale Research Company, 15: 220–226, 2005 Gale Thomson
  5. ^ "Untitled", S. Peacock (Ed.) Children's Literature Review, Detroit: Gale Publishers Weekly, 87 (27): 59, 2003a Retrieved April 29, 2009, from Literature Resource Center via Gale
  6. ^ "David Gets in Trouble". Perma-Bound Books. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  7. ^ Garner, D (2002), "Busted: when Mommy ignores him, Robbie takes matters into his own hands. When David does something wrong, he denies it", The New York Times Book Review, 107 (46) Retrieved April 29, 2009, from Literature Resource Center via Gale.
  8. ^ a b "Untitled", S. Peacock (Ed.)Children's Literature Review, Detroit: Gale Publishers Weekly, 87 (42): 75, 2003b Retrieved April 29, 2009, from Literature Resource Center via Gale

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