Animation and children’s books share a long history together. (See the brilliant Bill Peet, for instance.) I’m always intrigued when I see a new children’s book written and/or illustrated by someone from the animation industry, mostly because I am an animator. Add the illustration degree and a big collection of vintage children’s books to the mix and, well, you get my point. So, when I was handed a copy of Mr. Warburton’s 1000 Times No (from Harpercollins) the other day, my interest was keenly piqued because I knew that this “Mr. Warburton” was none other than Tom Warburton, creator of Cartoon Network’s Codename: Kids Next Door fame. Tom’s also been involved with other productions, some with fellow NY animator-turned-famous-children’s-book-author Mo Willams. It was through a suggestion by Mo that Tom should do a children’s book. “1000 Times No” ended up being his first endeavor.
The book is illustrated in Warburton’s signature KND style, which young readers will thoroughly enjoy. My kids (8 and 4 years) also enjoyed the simplistic story, of which a toddler, Noah (get it? Noah?) has been told that it’s time to leave by his mother, but instead tells her off with a wide variety of NO’s. In fact, it’s through all the multiple versions of saying “no” where my kids got a big kick out of the book. Seeing “no” written out in Dutch, Greek, Japanese, Inuit, Latin, even Zulu, among other inventive (and surprising) ways, was quite entertaining.
Also entertaining was the fun, animated promo produced by Curious Pictures (naturally, since KND was produced there as well):