No Bows


Ages 2-6
Peachtree, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-56145-356-6
Using only a few simple, but well-chosen words, a small child expresses clearly what she does–and does not–want through the course of a day. Her independent spirit emerges as she firmly says no to a dress, a pair of shoes, a nap. As the day ends and evening descends, however, she finally says yes- to lots of hugs and kisses from her mom and dad.
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Publisher’s Weekly
A feisty redhead asserts her sense of identity in this book of few words but strong feelings. Each right-hand page names and illustrates what the girl does not want while the following left-hand page shows her preference. For example, the opening illustration depicts the moon-faced, wide-eyed heroine with yellow bows in her coiffed hair, pouting (“no bows…”); on the next page, she hangs upside down, her hair plaited, smiling (“braids”). Newcomer Duke’s text for unsatisfactory items appears in lower case, while the girl’s choices seem to shout out in bold capital letters: “no pink… purple/ no puppy… lizard/ no piano… drums.” Mattheson’s (The Great Tulip Trade) paintings juxtapose the girl’s rejections in small-scale, often framed images with full-bleed full-page paintings of her chosen alternatives. The approach serves to illuminate the child’s perspective and her determined resistance to comply. Adults usually appear as arms and legs, either confining or chasing the heroine. However, the conclusion, in which the girl responds enthusiastically when her parents ask “Hugs?” asserts reassuringly that no matter how willful and exhausting the child may be, her parents cherish her independent spirit. Ages 2-6. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Children’s Literature
This delightful portrait of an exuberant and independent-minded toddler uses plenty of humor and very few words to capture her distinct personality. This strong-willed heroine prefers braids to bows, purple to pink, lizards to puppies, drums to pianos, etc. It is clear she is no wimpy little princess. But when bedtime comes, mom’s and dad’s offers of hugs suits just fine. The young girl’s facial expressions say it all, as she categorically states her preferences, until finally joining her relieved parents and pet lizard in a happy goodnight embrace. Gently muted primary colors with touches of lavender and pink are appealing. This youngster clearly rules the pages, with mom and dad appearing only as arms and legs until the end. The illustrations expand the text effectively, with changes in font and perspective emphasizing likes and dislikes. The figures on the pages grow bigger and busier and leap out at the reader. Children will have fun following the antics of the pet lizard and trying to anticipate what the nameless protagonist will prefer next. A worthwhile purchase.

School Library Journal
PreS-K-This book follows an unnamed young girl as she expresses her dislikes on right-hand pages-“no soap-“-and her preferences on the turns-“BUBBLES.” The text is uniformly terse: “no crayons…PAINTS,” “no nap…STORY,” etc. At the end, tucked into bed, the child asks, “Hugs?” and gets a “YES!” from her parents. The cartoonlike oil illustrations are playful and clearly express the protagonist’s intermittent glee and frustration. Children will relate to her, but they may find the layout confusing.-Amelia Jenkins, Juneau Public Library, AK Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
She’s freethinking and opinionated and about five years old. She’s Duke’s delectable little girl who is not about to accept just anything put before her. No piano . . . Drums. No vanilla . . . Tutti-frutti. No night-light . . . Stars. The text is quick and rolling, with a sharp pace that is tempered by the quality of the illustrations. Rendered in handsome, burnished colors that nonetheless have an element of dazzle to them, and with the young knows-what-she-wants emotions writ large in her body language, Mattheson’s artwork squarely hits the dismissiveness and the high-stepping brio of each choice. The book is destined to be a high-volume read-aloud, and much fun can be had trying to guess what the girl will choose once she has spurned the puppy, the crayons and the sandbox, since her answers are given on the next page. As for the bedtime hugs, will she sniff at them? Go on and guess. (Picture book. 2-5)


No Bows! Teacher Guide
Free printable No Bows! coloring pages: 1 | 2
No Bows! Bow Printouts (colored)
Printable bookmarks
No Bows! Pictograph Activity