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No Dogs Allowed!

No Dogs Allowed!

by Sonia Manzano, Jon J Muth (Illustrator)

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Sometimes the unexpected is even more fun than the best-laid plans. Iris, her family, the neighbors, and dog take a road trip to the lake. But first, the cars break down. Then they get lost. And when they finally arrive at the lake, they see a NO DOGS ALLOWED sign. What to do? Iris's family's make-do attitude saves the day, for as they go about their beach activities


Sometimes the unexpected is even more fun than the best-laid plans. Iris, her family, the neighbors, and dog take a road trip to the lake. But first, the cars break down. Then they get lost. And when they finally arrive at the lake, they see a NO DOGS ALLOWED sign. What to do? Iris's family's make-do attitude saves the day, for as they go about their beach activities while trying to figure out what to do with the dog, each takes a turn taking care of the dog. Soon the day is over, and the dog has had the best time of all -- the beach had been brought to him. Sesame Street's Sonia Manzano's first picturebook provides an ocean of humor, a warm, close-knit Puerto Rican community, and a take-charge family who refuses to let things get in their way!

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
"Maria" from Sesame Street -- whose real name is Sonia Manzano -- teams up with illustrator Jon J. Muth for this sunny story about a girl whose family, friends, and "troublesome" dog make their way to the beach. Brought soulfully to life through Muth's dark-hued, breezy watercolors, Manzano's adventure introduces readers to seven-year-old Iris, an imaginative girl who lives in "a place called the Bronx, in the Kingdom of Third Avenue, in the Land of New York City." Iris and her family -- which includes a host of colorful neighbors and El Exigente, their rather lazy dog -- gear up for picnicking and swimming in Enchanted State Park, where they finally arrive after the convoy of vehicles stops for a minor breakdown (" 'It's a miracle,' said my big sister Shorty the Fortune-teller"). Unfortunately, a sign reading NO DOGS ALLOWED! almost puts a kink in the festivities, but fast thinking keeps El Exigente off the beach and in good company with a rotating cast of dog-watchers. When the family's beach day is done, Iris and her pooch conk out in the car's backseat, realizing they never really solved the no-dogs-on-the-beach problem but feeling "tired and sleepy and happy and sandy" nonetheless. A marvelous, spirited picture book that reflects the close-knit community and often eccentric personality of big-city life, this charmer will make your heart skip and add warmhearted spice to story times. Matt Warner
This Muppet-free outing written by "Maria" of Sesame Street focuses instead on a rambunctious family's trip from the Bronx to the beach. Six-year-old Iris narrates, detailing the clan's quirky personalities, their penchant for overpacking, and all the troubles they blithely overcome. Rowdy, action-packed watercolor illustrations play up the happy chaos in this appealing slice of life. (Ages 6 to 8)
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2004
Publishers Weekly
Manzano, who has played Maria on Sesame Street for more than 20 years, makes her picture debut with a tale bursting with color, energy and a bit of Hispanic flair. Seven-year-old Iris recalls the day "a long while ago, when I was six" when she and her family, including her beloved pooch, El Exigente, picnicked at Enchanted State Park. Assorted relatives, friends and neighbors form a caravan of vehicles stuffed with food and a wild collection of favorite objects. After a bout of car trouble and an unexpected detour, the clan finally arrives at the lake, only to be greeted by a sign reading "No Dogs Allowed." Papi's sensible solution "We should take turns staying with El Exigente in the parking lot until we figure out what to do" means that the sweet-natured pup enjoys a dog's life of attention for the rest of the day. As Manzano orchestrates a variety of distinct character voices into one joyful symphony, Muth (The Three Questions) uses the fluid lines of his often witty ink-and- watercolor compositions to fill in all the details of Iris's memorable family: cook-extraordinaire Mami and her pots of picnic fare, Cousin Carmen the Beautiful and her "traveling beauty parlor," and Aunt Tuta the Happily Married and her Brand-new Husband, constantly entwined in a dreamy-eyed embrace. This boisterous family's summer outing makes an exuberant statement about the ties that bind both human and canine. Ages 3-7. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
We share a wild but thoroughly enjoyable day's journey, with our narrator Iris and her very extended family, to the lake in Enchanted State Park. First we meet the aptly named characters, including Mami the Busy, Papi the Clever, big sister Shorty the Fortune-Teller, El Exigente the dog, who is "nothing but trouble," and a host of other talented relatives like cousin Carmen the Beautiful and Marta the Smart. Everyone has an enormous load of essentials to pack. Then the procession of vehicles has a series of zany mishaps before they finally arrive at the park. The "No Dogs Allowed" sign means someone must stay at the car with El Exigente all day in turn, but they all manage to have a great time anyway. The story is filled with many verbal and visual details that add to the fun we have as we share the day with the family. Muth's ink lines create real personalities to match each character's nickname; his lightly applied, muted watercolors add appropriate contents to the double-page, action-packed scenes. The details included in the family safari add considerably to the visual play while supplying props for the multiple mini-dramas which keep our eyes moving so as not to miss any part of the excitement. Readers may recognize the author as "Maria" from Sesame Street. 2004, Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster, Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Sonia Manzano (Maria from Sesame Street) has written a story based on a childhood experience (Atheneum, 2004). It's summer. Family and friends from a New York neighborhood are on their way to the park. Their cars are packed with everything from the family dog to the contents of a deli counter as this multicultural group heads out. It's a cheerful caravan and even a breakdown doesn't faze them as they make the most of their time together. But what to do when they reach the park and discover that no dogs are allowed inside? This is a delightful story that portrays life in the slow lane, where experiences can be savored and rushing is not a priority. Read by the author, and told in the first person, the book reflects loving family ties and the value of shared responsibilities. Jon Muth's watercolor-and-ink illustrations are scanned iconographically, with some minor animation added. They provide delicious visual hyperbole to the simple story, adding humor and interesting details. Original music accompanies the production. A brief introduction by the author provides viewers with some background information. Youngsters will appreciate this joyous celebration of community.-Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Sesame Street's "Maria" debuts with this effervescent tale of an extended Bronx family heading for the beach. "Only take what you know you'll really need to go on a picnic," says Papi. Over her big sister Shorty's objections, young Iris takes El Exigente, the dog-only to encounter a sign (see title) that confines him to the parking lot. So Papi proposes that everyone take turns minding him, "until we figure out what to do." Or, as it happens, until darkness falls, and all head sleepily homeward. Muth's sand-tinted scenes bustle with vivacious, expressively posed figures, as Iris's Mami (who bears a strong resemblance to the author) whips up enough food for an army while neighbors and relatives gather from, as Iris puts it, "the tri-state area," then head off in a convoy of heavily loaded cars to a lake (though it looks more like the ocean) in "Enchanted State Park." Children will happily hitch a ride, laugh at the exaggerated but believable details and misadventures, and listen to the quiet chords of community and cooperation that underlie Iris's sunny account. (Picture book. 6-8)
From the Publisher
"[An] effervescent tale." -- Kirkus Reviews

Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.40(d)
AD900L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Sonia Manzano is best known as “Maria,” one of the first Hispanic characters on Sesame Street, a role she has delighted in for more than twenty years. She has earned fifteen Emmy Awards as a member of the Sesame Street writing staff, and is the author of the picture books No Dogs Allowed!, A Box Full of Kittens, and the Pura Belpré Award honored The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano. Sonia Manzano lives in New York City with her husband.

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