I don't remember ever hearing a child say NO more than my son, Tulio. I had three kids before him and none of them seemed to utilize the word with such ferocity. When Tulio began speaking, he stuttered and would be frustrated at the inability to communicate. We would try to help him by asking questions but he'd yell "No!" When we asked if he was tired, he would holler "NO" as his eyelids fell heavily with gravity. Even though he appeared scared, he'd insist that he wasn't. The one word he could say the most and with such clarity and emphasis was the word No.
As a mother to a child with big emotions, I didn't know what to do. All I had was patience, and it was slowly waning. I was growing weary of being unable to help my child through the intense moment. I could only offer comfort and hugs to a child struggling so hard to talk. Those hugs calmed him. Even between sobs and anger, a hug is how we could connect and relate. And so, I began to journal our days and these events. I'd write excerpts and illustrate the moments that made us both cry and laugh. He loved it and I needed it. Through this, we could document his learning process and the power of the word No.
This book is for all the kids who say No because they don't know how to communicate yet. This book is for all the parents and child care providers who want to help kids navigate through big emotions. All illustrations are hand cut from paper. The book is easy to read, easy to understand, and more importantly, easy to relate to. Even a child as young as 18 months can proudly "read" this book and understand the pictures, the words, and the love of a hug.
I am a Puerto Rican professional illustrator and writer who works in spurts while raising a family of 6 with my husband. The No Boy, Tulio, is my fourth kid. And yes, he still has big emotions, he still works to communicate, and he still stutters, which can impact his speed of communication. With a family this big, there are many stories to document and share. It's not only important for us, but to the families and kids who can relate, especially those of us who do not often see ourselves in books. My goal is to ensure that my kids and others like them are represented in color, culture, and communication through art and writing. You can follow me on my instagram.