No Dogs Allowed!


Welcome to Alberto's restaurant…unless you're a dog, a cat, a bunny, or ANYTHING with fur, feathers, or scales!
The entertainment escalates in this nearly wordless picture book as more and more people arrive with a surprising selection of pets.  Alberto turns them all away--only to see the crowd discover a friendlier alternative...
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Welcome to Alberto's restaurant…unless you're a dog, a cat, a bunny, or ANYTHING with fur, feathers, or scales!
The entertainment escalates in this nearly wordless picture book as more and more people arrive with a surprising selection of pets.  Alberto turns them all away--only to see the crowd discover a friendlier alternative in the festive street. Will Alberto find a way to win them back?

Charming, classic art, with graphic novel-like panels, make this a fresh and funny story that will amuse even the youngest readers.
Included on the Texas 2 x 2 Reading List!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Ashman (Come to the Castle!) lets Sorra do most of the storytelling—the text is all but superfluous—in this fantasy about a cafe owner plagued by his pet-owning customers. Sorra's digital artwork combines a warm, painterly quality with clear, easy-to-decode visual information. Sad-eyed Albert, the cafe owner, is ready for business in a white shirt and natty bow tie, but he's obsessed with keeping his cafe free from unusual creatures, and he changes his sign accordingly: "No one with fur allowed," he scrawls hurriedly after a girl appears with a large kangaroo. What Albert doesn't see is the party unfolding by the fountain in the square, as his rejected customers congregate there instead. A magician performs, the pets make friends, and ice cream is served. Sorra (King o' the Cats) captures the city's sophistication, as well as the contrast between the smartly dressed children and their wacky pets—an armadillo, an iguana, an elephant. Elegant storytelling fun comes with the extra satisfaction that derives from having to use visual clues to figure out what's happened. Ages 3–8. (Aug.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Digital artwork with plenty of captivating details essentially tells this story; the only text appears in speech bubbles and changing restaurant signage. The setting is Alberto's City Lights Restaurant, a sidewalk café that sits on a square with a fountain. When the waiter spots a smiling boy and a dog coming toward the restaurant, he changes the chalkboard sign from "Welcome" to "No dogs allowed." The youngster turns away and heads for the square. A series of pet owners and their animals heads toward the restaurant, and Alberto adds them to the growing list of those not allowed. One elderly customer stops to dine alone but finds it increasingly difficult to get Alberto's attention. The pet owners purchase treats from a street vendor until she runs out of goodies. The boy solves the problem by recruiting the waiter to bring treats to the crowd in the square. Large spreads appear between pages of grouped smaller illustrations and sequential panels. Readers see an expanding variety of pets and owners; an elephant, a hippo, penguins, and a kangaroo are part of the crowd. This lively picture book is a good choice for one-on-one sharing; the details in the art could serve as a visual stimulus to initiate conversations about what is happening. A worthy selection to prompt children's interactions with picture elements in books.—Lynn Vanca, Freelance Librarian, Akron, OH
Kirkus Reviews

People with pets spell trouble—and opportunity—for a new sidewalk cafe.

With the exception of a handful of exclamations from restaurateur Alberto, standing nervously outside in crisp white shirt, bow tie and long apron, the story is told visually in sequential panels, from one to four on every page. "Come in, We're Open" declares a sign on the door, a chalkboard nearby says "Welcome!" and there's an "Early Bird Special" sign in the window. When Alberto spots a little boy walking in his direction with a big dog, he panics and changes the chalkboard message to "No Dogs Allowed." Crisis averted...temporarily. Then comes a woman with a gray cat, another holding a rabbit and, surprisingly, a couple on either side of a calm kangaroo. Each new animal (and there are several more) prompts a new version of the message on the chalkboard. Alberto notices that all these people with pets are hanging out at a nearby fountain and, worse, that he's losing business to a vendor there with a cart. Thinking quickly,he whips up a big batch of cupcakes and changes the name of his restaurant from "Alberto's City Lights" to "Alberto's Critters Bistro." Success! Ashman's concept is both sophisticated and delightful, with reading and animal-identifying lessons tucked in. Sorra's digital illustrations have bold distinct colors and crisp outlines.

Offbeat and appealing. (Picture book. 3-9)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402758379
  • Publisher: Sterling Children's Books
  • Publication date: 8/2/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 419,009
  • Product dimensions: 10.60 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Ashman has written more than 20 children's books, including Creaky Old House, Stella, Unleashed and Twelve Days of Christmas in Colorado (all Sterling). She lives in Denver, Colorado. Visit Linda online at

Kristin Sorra has illustrated many picture books, including Groundhog Weather School by Joan Holub. Her work has also appeared in magazines, stationery, off-Broadway show posters, and websites. She lives near New York City. Visit Kristin online at

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