Children’s Book Week Review – No! Never!

Link to Catalogue record for No! Never!

No! Never! by Libby Hathorn and Lisa Hathorn-Jarman and illustrated by Mel Pearse

This book was Shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year Awards – Early Childhood and the CBCA Award for New Illustrators.

Georgie is a sweet little girl who always makes her parents happy… until she discovers one powerful phrase: No! Never! It suddenly becomes her answer to every request, from tidying up her toys to going to bed. But her parents turn the tables, and tell her, “No, never” back!

Well, we all know that moment when children discover the word they will love – NO!

This book deals with Georgie learning the power of NO!

Sometimes as an adult I have to remind myself to say no a little more when the answer is no and I’m only saying yes because I want to be helpful but Georgie doesn’t have that problem. She has discovered NO! NEVER! and she is using them to their full potential. All children go through this stage and like all stages through modelling, explaining, and time they learn to temper their NOs with some YESes.

But…focussing on the book and Georgie.

She was the sweetest child and then discovers no, and never, and the very powerful NO! NEVER!

She uses it everywhere, and all the time, and neverendingly, until the game is turned around on her and her parents start to say No! Never! right back to things Georgie wants to do. Eventually, she realises that No! Never! might be best to put away and only be used sometimes.

It can be hard to combat the NO! NEVER!s and to persevere on the No!Never! right back but as this book reminds everyone it’s good for kids to learn that the words are powerful but at the end of the day sometimes they just don’t get their way and Yes, I will is much more powerful for fun and good times.

I am looking forward to sharing this book with the kids at Storytime during Children’s Book Week because I think the message is really important and that’s something I think about when planning but possibly more importantly – it’s delivered well, it’s not preachy it lays the whole process out and you relate to each step and I believe that children will too.

The illustrations work really well with the chaotic nature of life when children start saying NO! NEVER! Mel Pearce, the illustrator, is West Australian and this is her first picture book and I look forward to seeing future ones.

I would recommend this for any child who is discovering NO! but also anyone from about 18 months/2 years old. And perhaps older people who struggle a little with No.

When I saw illustrator Mel Pearce speak about this book earlier in the year she told us that her sister had described the book as:

“Great book for parents of children who say no too much and for parents who need to learn to say no a little bit more.”