I Just Don’t Like the Sound of NO!

I Just Don’t Like the Sound of No! (How about MAYBE?)

Julia Cook, Author

Kelsey De Weerd, Illustrator

Boys Town Press, 2011, Fiction

Suitable for:  Ages 5 and up

Themes: Frustration, Obedience, Conflict Resolution, Interpersonal Communication, Life Skills

Opening/Synopsis “My name is RJ, and I just don’t like the sound of the word NO!  It seems like everybody always tells me NONO RJ this, NO RJ that…sometimes I think my real names is NO RJ!”   RJ goes shopping with his dad and sees a box of smelly markers he really wants.  He asks his dad if he will buy the markers for him.  His father says, “No.”  But RJ protests with “how about maybe or we’ll see?”  When RJ gets home his best friend Sam invites him to sleep over at his house.  RJ’s mother says “No, not on a school night.”  RJ argues with ” how about I’ll think about it?”  The same pattern continues at school and his teacher tells RJ that he needs to learn to accept “No” for an answer.  She invites hims to become a member of the “Say YES to NO Club.”  If RJ can learn to accept No for an answer from his parents and teacher, stay calm and learn how to disagree appropriately, he can add his name to the club’s Star Board.

What I like about this book:  Julia Cook is one of my very favorite children’s authors.  This book is the winner of the 2011 MOM’s Choice Award Honoring Excellence, and the National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval. Her books are all winners for me because they help children problem-solve, learn fundamental social skills of accepting “no” and disagreeing appropriately, or learning proper behavior for a range of situations.  Her books are such a treat for kids, parents and teachers!   Kids will laugh as they see and hear themselves in her stories.   There are so many teaching moments.

Activities:  The book itself, is an activity book with tips for parents and educators at the end.  But, there is also an Activity Guide for Teachers with a CD and posters than can be purchased separately.   Visit Julia Cook’s website for information and other resources.   I have previously reviewed three other Julia Cook books on my blog.  If you are interested in reading my reviews click on “My Mouth is a Volcano”  “The Worst Day of My Life EVER!”  and “A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue.”  I’ve included pictures of the covers below.   All of her books come with separate Activity Guides.

To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.  Or click on the Perfect Picture Book Fridays  badge in the right sidebar.


Important Date: April is National Autism Awareness Month, which will be kicked off  Monday, April 2, with an International Autism Awareness Day.  Join  Autism Speaks in the third annual “Light It Up Blue” day to help shine a light on autism.  The entire world is going blue to increase awareness about autism.  My website will feature an article on Monday, and will be blue!

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

42 thoughts on “I Just Don’t Like the Sound of NO!

    • Catherine, I’m glad you liked the author. She is a real gem for teachers. I reviewed some of her books before we started PPB, and I really wanted to introduce her to those who are not familiar with her wonderful books.


    • MH, I am huge fan of Julie Cook’s books. Her website is full of many other books. They are perfect for parents encountering just about every topic you can imagine. I also like her Activity books. Great for the classroom and homeschoolers, because they are always about problem solving.


  1. A great topic. I know I’ve said no too much when I read a string of “nonononono” being repeated back to me! My February 12x draft is on a similar topic, so I’m curious to read this now.


    • Stacy, I thought of you and Enzo when I was reviewed this book. It’s always good to know your competition, and I’m sure you are fine with what you’re writing. I think you’d enjoy her books for many reasons.


  2. These look like books we could use in our house to earn to handle our emotions. I am going to see if I can find them right away. You might also look at the blog JoyfulLearninginKC, which has been doing a lot of work with emotions right now using another book series.


    • Kirsten, Thanks for the recommendation. I will look up the site. I’m always searching for specific books. Think you would enjoy these with your children because there is a lot of humor in them and kids can learn to laugh at themselves as well as really see the reflection.


  3. I hadn’t heard of this author, and she sounds like a treasure! I had to laugh when I read the synopsis because once I said, “We’ll see,” to my daughter and she said, “Mom, everyone knows that ‘we’ll see’ means ‘no.’ 🙂


    • Julie, Smart daughter. This author is a treasure. Have reviewed four of her books to date, and there are some new ones just released. Loved this book, but my favorite is “A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue.”


  4. wow – i’m very excited about this book! i love the “say YES to NO club” – what a clever game – i’ll have to see if our library has this book – thanks~


    • With four little ones and a fifth on the way, I think you’d enjoy all of her books. Check out her website to see all of the titles. She’s among my favorite author for young children.


  5. Very cool book Pat and loved your review of it. Yes how many times do we say “no” and even after we probably hated hearing it ourselves as kids…lol. This looks very cute and clever, will have to check it out and also her website. Thanks Pat. (ps.. I just checked your post before…. thanks Pat)


  6. This book looks like a really good book! A lot of kids think the same way as RJ. Sometimes it’s hard for kids to hear answers they don’t like. I like the cover image, too! I think I should get it.
    Erik 🙂


    • Erik, appreciated your prospective. The books are for kids grades Kindergartenn to Grade 6. I thought that older kids might night or want to read her series. So I lowered the age. Although, I some adults that could benefit from all the Julia Cook books I’ve reviewed. Yes the covers and illustrations are bold and attractive to kids. Glad you liked the book. She’s one of my favorite children authors because her books are focused around problem-solving.


  7. Hi Pat! This sounds like my kind of book. I am like RJ in the sense that my boyfriend, Mikey, would tell me NO when it comes to my food fancies and appetite whims – especially desserts! I’m bad with sweets, but I really, really love them. I mean, who doesn’t? So, yes, this picture book will be a funny read. I love the book cover of My Mouth is a Volcano. Will have to check that out in our library.


    • Fats, thank you for stopping y my blog. Glad you liked my selection. I’ve been wanting to introduce Julia Cook’s books to the new writing groups I’ve involved in. They are a wonderful to work with a child on something like'”no,” “tattling” and “taking your turn” in a non-threatening but humorous way. A child — even big children :)– can their behavior through another child and laugh.


    • Mikey doesn’t always say NO to your food fancies. In fact he indulges your every whim (sorry for this Pat, I thought I might as well set the record straight here, *wink wink*) Hehe. Love the book choice too Pat! 🙂


  8. Pat, I will have to share this great new book with my school counselor. Teaching with picture books is so powerful, and I think that this book could truly help many of our youngest students who struggle with conflict resolution. Thank you for this outstanding recommendation!


    • Kelly, thought you may have known about Julia Cook’s books. They are all focused around a problem, and offering great tools for parents, teachers and kids to work on a problem. And they are colorful and funny. Much easier to see yourself through a kid with a similar problem and laugh about it. I just love her books! Check out her website. She has some new books out too. My favorite though is A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue.


  9. My daughter would love this book and I’m sure she would see herself in it! Thanks for your review of it. I hadn’t heard of this author – I will definitely check out her website!


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