Myra here.

This July to September, we are doing a book-series marathon.

typorama 13

We are featuring books that fit the following deliberately-nebulous criteria:

  1. Books that are part of an ongoing series
  2. Themed stories: books that are technically not part of a series, but fit a specific theme – e.g. intergenerational stories, nature-themed stories
  3. Short story collections
  4. Narratives of a similar genre 
  5. Stories written by same author

I found these No-themed picturebooks via Overdrive. I am sure these titles would resonate with a lot of young readers (not to mention their parents).

No! [Amazon | Book Depository]

Written by Tracey Corderoy Illustrated by Tim Warnes
Published by Little Tiger Press (2013)
ISBN: 9781848956520 (ISBN10: 1848956525). Borrowed from Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.

Archie used to be a pleasant, cute, adorable little piglet – everyone was in agreement about this. Until he learned a new word that quickly became his favourite.

There is, evidently, a phase in young children’s lives (toddler stage) when this word becomes their favourite, and it is such a struggle to get them to do absolutely anything – something that Archie’s parents and teacher and classmates immediately learned and recognized.

However, Archie gradually realized that even this favourite word has its limitations, much to his chagrin. How the story ends, I shall leave for you to discover.

No! I Won’t Go To School [Amazon | Book Depository]

Written by Alonso Nuñez Illustrated by Bruna Assis Brasil Translated by Dave Morrison
Published by Tilbury House Publishers (2018)
ISBN: 9780884486466 (ISBN10: 088448646X). Borrowed from Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.

Told in rhyming text, this young boy categorically refuses to go to school, citing a number of reasons to his oblivious mother, justifying his aversion to attending school – plus, the fact that he can easily spell the word NO, anyway. What other information does he need, really?

Admittedly, it is the art that spoke more to me than the text-narrative, given how I am not a huge fan of rhyming text that I find to be unnecessary. Brasil’s art has that distinctly European texture to it, and I marveled at the coloring, the flatness of some of the lines, and the tasteful collage with the inserted photographs here and there. I thought it was put together very well, with a cohesive feel to it.

I also noted that the image above may perpetuate gender stereotypes of boys being perceived as unruly whereas girls are  portrayed as know-it-alls. Regardless, I still found the book entertaining, and if anything, it would be good to have conversations about some of these observations and hear children’s thoughts about them as well.

#SurvivalStories2021 Update: 83 out of target 100

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

0 comments on “Picturebooks that Scream “NO!”

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