David Shannon, Author and Illustrator

When David Shannon first agreed to illustrate a children's book, he thought it would be a fun, one-time diversion. But after How Many Spots Does a Leopard Have? by Julius Lester was published in 1992, editors sent him more and more manuscripts to illustrate. Eventually, Shannon began to write and illustrate his own stories.

David Shannon made his first book when he was only five. On orange paper, he drew pictures of himself doing the things that got him into trouble: sneaking into the cookie jar, jumping on the bed, and making too much noise. The only two words in the book were "No" and "David" — two words that he heard often and knew how to spell. His mom saved it and showed it to him many years later when he was an adult. David Shannon made the character in the book look exactly the way he drew himself when he was little—pointy teeth and all!

In his books, Shannon often uses incidents and people from his own life. For example, his daughter made animal noises before she could talk. Drawing from this experience, Shannon wrote Duck on a Bike a story with lots of quacks, moos, oinks, and woofs. Alice the Fairy is written about his daughter, Emma. Also, in the “fish tale” Jangles: A BIG Fish Story told by a father to his son, Shannon draws on his experiences as an avid fisherman to narrate the tale.

In addition, his picture book about a West Highland terrier, Good Boy, Fergus, features the beloved family dog. Fergus really is Shannon’s dog. He’s a West Highland terrier and he’s 18 years old (that’s 126 in dog years). He’s somewhere in all of Shannon’s books – can you find him?


David Shannon has written and illustrated 21 books, and illustrated 10 books by other authors. Check out this trailer for one of his popular books, A Bad Case of the Stripes: 


The Saint Louis Public Library has many of David Shannon's books available: 

No, David!

Good Boy, Fergus!

Bizzy Mizz Lizzie

Too Many Toys

A Bad Case of Stripes

Alice the Fairy


Duck on A Bike

How Many Spots Does A Leopard Have? and Other Tales

For more information on David Shannon, please visit his website, from which this information was gathered. 

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