No! Never!
Mel Pearce
Publisher: Hachette Australia
ISBN: 9780734418906
Awards Year: 2021
Category: CBCA Award for New Illustrator
The publisher says...

A cautionary tale about a little girl who drives her parents up the wall when she starts answering 'No! Never!' to all their requests - and what happens when the tables are turned on her. 

There was a child, 
The sweetest ever, 
Until she learned these words: 

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. Her parents are at their wits end, but what happens when they decide to try saying No! Never! themselves? 

A lovely, lively look at the Terrible Twos (or Threes, or Fours, or Fives...) from mother-daughter team Libby Hathorn and Lisa Hathorn-Jarman, with debut illustrator Mel Pearce. Perfect for any parent dealing with tantrums, defiant behaviour or communication issues. 

The illustrator says...

I am very excited and grateful that the book I worked on, No! Never!, has been nominated and shortlisted for both the Early Childhood and New Illustrator categories. I managed to watch the live announcement video during a quiet spot in our schedule at the school library I work at. Unbeknownst to me, my sister Erin was filming my reaction, so now I have a permanent reminder of my shock and surprise (and some tears)!

Most of my favourite illustrations for this book occur after Georgie starts getting a taste of her own medicine… in particular, when she sweetly asks to read the new book, but her dad chucks a big sook with her looking on in horror. I always imagine him accompanying it with a really dramatic and whiney NOOOO! NEVERRRRR! for ultimate impact. This is the point that Georgie starts regretting her life choices. HAHA!

It was a huge milestone for me to get published, and I am always so touched when people tell me they like my crazy scribbly illustrations in the book. I am absolutely honoured to be Shortlisted for No! Never! but I’m equally as thrilled to know that my illustrations speak to the readers and make them laugh.

The CBCA judges say...

The energy and angry defiance of Georgie – the recognisable toddler who says, “No! Never!” to all requests – is perfectly rendered in Pearce’s apparent child-like artistic style. Using hand-drawn images, which have been digitally coloured builds the pace and explosions of emotions – for the adult and child characters. A colour-palette limited to browns and pinks heighten a sense of frustration. Speech bubbles are full of energetic execution and demand readers to join in on subsequent readings. The emotions of the protagonist are 'loud and clear,' as are the expressions of her parents and other children included.  Each page brings a variety of design devices – from full-page bleeds, to graphically sequenced events which builds up the reader’s understanding of Georgie’s life as a toddler trying to establish her own agency. The underlying tongue-in-cheek sense of humour will delight adult and child readers.

The Reading Time reviewers say...
Click here to read the Reading Time review.

Shortlist Books 2021