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No Dogs Allowed
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No Dogs Allowed

5.0 2
by Stephanie Calmenson, Joanna Cole, Heather Ross (Illustrator)

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Kate and Lucie are best friends. Kate is neat and Lucie is messy. Kate wakes up early and Lucie loves to sleep in. But both girls love, love, love dogs!

Unfortunately, Kate and Lucie live in apartments where dogs are not allowed. Instead of real dogs, they have dog T-shirts, dog sheets and pajamas, and dog books. But nothing is quite the same as having a real


Kate and Lucie are best friends. Kate is neat and Lucie is messy. Kate wakes up early and Lucie loves to sleep in. But both girls love, love, love dogs!

Unfortunately, Kate and Lucie live in apartments where dogs are not allowed. Instead of real dogs, they have dog T-shirts, dog sheets and pajamas, and dog books. But nothing is quite the same as having a real dog.

One day, the girls discover sparkly pink dog necklaces at the thrift store and try them on. But when they admire themselves in the mirror and give each other high fives, there is a pop and a whoosh and the girls are turned into dogs! Now it seems like Kate and Lucie won't need their own pet dogs . . . because they'll be having furry adventures of their own!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Frequent collaborators Calmenson and Cole begin the Ready Set, Dogs! series with a peppy story that takes the notion of dog-loving kids to the extreme. Best friends Kate and Lucie are obsessed with dogs, but live in an apartment complex that prohibits them. At a thrift shop, the two try on necklaces with a dog-bone motif and—by high-fiving and uttering “Woofa-woof!”—morph into dogs themselves. (Riffing on the joke that dogs and their owners can sometimes resemble each other, Ross’s cartoons show a humorous likeness between the girls’ human and canine selves.) Switching species at will, Kate and Lucie help lead three stray dogs to a shelter and taunt “the two most annoying boys on the planet,” who are bent on capturing and adopting them. In the story’s feel-good ending, the girls and boys join forces to win an Adopt-a-Dog Week songwriting contest. Good-natured banter and silliness (“Stop sniffing me!” “I can’t help it. Everything smells amazing—even you!”) move the story along at a brisk pace. Ages 6–9. Authors’ agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—Dog-loving best friends Katie and Lucie live next door to one another in an apartment building with an unfortunate rule: NO DOGS ALLOWED. On a trip to the neighborhood thrift shop, the girls try on matching pink dog bone-shaped necklaces and discover that the jewelry holds the power to turn its wearers into dogs. Fortunately, they quickly figure out how to turn back into girls, and they have fun shape-shifting at will for the remainder of the story. Lucie and Katie join forces with two boys to write the winning submission for a local radio contest promoting Adopt-a-Dog Week. Back matter includes dog jokes, true stories about heroic dogs, and the authors' real-life dog ownership tales. Occasional black-and-white drawings highlight key characters and scenes, such as a humorous scene of the girls, in dog form, digging holes in a garden as their mothers look on with shocked expressions. This fun, quick read will have young dog lovers sitting up and begging for the next book in the series.—Amanda Struckmeyer, Middleton Public Library, Madison, WI
From the Publisher

“Good-natured banter and silliness move the story along at a brisk pace.” —Publishers Weekly

“...bouncy, rhyming verse and an innovative cast of characters give this counting book zip ... Only after many rereadings will little ones get their fill.” —Publishers Weekly on DINNER AT THE PANDA PALACE

“Rosie's real-life adventures make for one of the outstanding nonfiction titles of the year.” —Smithsonian Magazine on ROSIE - A VISITING DOG'S STORY

“Required reading for every dog lover!” —Lisa Von Drasek, Children's Librarian, Bank Street College on MAY I PET YOUR DOG?

“...fanciful yet scientifically accurate romp' in which 'weighty information is buoyantly supported by energetic, cartoony illustrations.” —PW, starred review on THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS ON THE OCEAN FLOOR

“Cole's lively text, with examples drawn from daily life, presents some quite complicated scientific information about how the five senses work.” —Booklist on YOU CAN'T SMELL A FLOWER WITH YOUR EAR

“Cole has successfully captured the youngsters' voices, making it easy for readers to identify with them.” —School Library Journal on I'M A BIG BROTHER


...fanciful yet scientifically accurate romp' in which 'weighty information is buoyantly supported by energetic, cartoony illustrations.

Product Details

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
Ready, Set, Dogs! Series , #1
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 7.30(h) x 0.80(d)
450L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Read an Excerpt

No dogs allowed

Ready, Set, Dogs

By Stephanie Calmenson, Joanna Cole, Heather Ross

Henry Holt and Company

Copyright © 2013 Stephanie Calmenson and Joanna Cole
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8050-9646-0


The Lucky Find

Early one morning the clock radio went off in Kate Farber's room. Kate popped up in bed. Wonka-wonk! Amos-on-the-Airwaves was honking a horn into the microphone.

Is there a car in here? thought Kate.

She looked around her room for cars. Of course there weren't any. It was just Amos finishing his traffic report. Amos Adams was Tuckertown's favorite radio announcer, and everyone loved to listen to him.

Amos had stopped honking and started barking. Woof-arf-yip!

Kate looked around her room. It was as neat as a pin, and there were dogs everywhere. They were on her sheets and pajamas. They were dancing across her lamp shade. There were knickknack shelves filled with little glass dogs all lined up in neat rows.

Kate loved dogs. But there would never be a real one in her room. She lived in a garden apartment where the rule was NO DOGS ALLOWED. Kate was a sensible girl. She knew there was no point in begging for a dog. But that didn't stop her from wishing for one.

She was wishing for one when Amos got her attention with the word contest.

"It's Adopt-a-Dog Week, and we're having a song-writing contest," he said. "We need a catchy song to get people out adopting dogs from the Tuckertown Shelter. Woof-arf-yip! Start writing and send your songs in pronto!"

Pronto means "quickly." That was just right for Kate. Kate did everything quickly.

She quickly grabbed her glasses from her night table and put them on. The brown frames looked good with her freckles and dark- brown hair.

Then she speed-dialed her best friend, Lucie Lopez.

Kate knew what Lucie would be hearing at the other end. She'd be hearing the special ring they had programmed on their phones. Arfa-arf! Arfa-arf!

Lucie wished she could have a dog, too. But she lived in the same garden apartment building, right next door to Kate. So, instead of a real dog, she had thirty-two stuffed dogs facing every which way in her room. She also had tons of books about dogs. They were piled up in stacks on her dresser, chairs, and even the floor. She had read every single one more than once.

Lucie's room was as messy as Kate's room was neat.

Kate pressed the speaker button on her phone and started getting dressed while Lucie's phone kept ringing. Arfa-arf!

Lucie finally picked up on the fourth arf. Lucie definitely was not a morning person.

"Hullo," she said sleepily, pushing her ginger-colored bangs out of her eyes.

"Quick! Meet me outside," said Kate, tying her right sneaker.

"I'm still sleeping," said Lucie.

"No, you're not. You're talking," said Kate, tying her left sneaker. "We've got a song to write, a contest to win! Amos says the dogs at the shelter need our help."

"Huh?" said Lucie.

"I'll explain outside," said Kate. "Hurry up and get dressed. I'm wearing my Dalmatian tee."

"Mine's in the laundry," said Lucie, yawning. "I'll wear my pink poodle shirt. I got new pink ribbons to match."

"Of course you did," said Kate.

Lucie loved ribbons. And she definitely loved pink.

Kate and Lucie had been best friends since they were little. They thought they were the luckiest girls in the world to be living right next door to each other.

By the time they hung up, Lucie had swung her legs out of bed and put one foot on the floor. Squawk! She had stepped on an old stuffed dog that had a squeaker in it.

How did that get there? thought Lucie.

Meanwhile, Kate was already dressed and had tied her hair in pigtails. She grabbed a breakfast bar and headed outside.

On the way, she heard her mom call, "Please take the bag in the hall to the thrift shop!"

"Got it!" said Kate, sweeping up the bag on her way out.

Kate sat on her front steps to wait for Lucie. She didn't like waiting, but with Lucie for a best friend, she was used to it. While she waited, she hummed a tune and tapped her feet. Five minutes later, Lucie came out.

"Another trip to the thrift shop?" Lucie said when she saw the bag at Kate's feet.

"My mom's on a cleaning mission," said Kate, jumping up. "Let's go!"

Kate and Lucie started toward the Lucky Find Thrift Shop. They went there a lot, mostly just to look around. And whenever they bought something, they liked knowing the money went to charity.

"Wait till you hear about the song contest!" said Kate. She told Lucie all about it.

"Maybe we could win and help the dogs!" said Lucie. "We're great at rhyming." Then she added, "We do it all the timing."

Kate rolled her eyes. Lucie ignored her and started singing:

Adopt a puppy!

It's better than a guppy!

"I like it!" said Kate. She took a turn.

Adopt a dog.

It's better than a hog!

As they walked to the thrift shop, the song got sillier and sillier.

"Hi, Mrs. Bingly!" they called as they walked through the door of the Lucky Find.

"Hi, girls," said Mrs. Bingly, the store owner. "What have you got there?"

Kate set the bag on the counter. "Mom's cleaning her closet again," she said.

"Wonderful," said Mrs. Bingly, taking the bag to the back of the store.

"Hey, Kate, look at this!" called Lucie.

Lucie was modeling a hot-pink hat with six kinds of fruit on the brim. It was draped with ribbons. Just right for Lucie.

She noticed a fluffy purple boa and tossed it around her neck.

She got a bright-green pocketbook and hung it on her shoulder.

"How many things are you going to try at once?" said Kate, being her usual sensible self.

"Maybe I'll try on shoes next," said Lucie.

"If you keep going, you'll be wearing everything in the store," said Kate.

Lucie didn't worry about being sensible. A display of sparkly necklaces had already caught her eye.

"Look at the two with the pink dog bones hanging down," she said, putting all the other stuff back.

Even Kate couldn't be sensible once she saw those necklaces.

"Let's try them on," she said. "They're perfect for Adopt-a-Dog Week."

"They're perfect for us!" said Lucie.

The girls each grabbed a necklace and went into the fitting room so they could look in the mirror.

"Help me with the clasp," said Lucie.

"Got it," said Kate. "Now help with mine."

They turned to admire themselves.

"These look great on us!" said Lucie.

"Let's get them!" said Kate.

"Woofa-woof!" they said together, giving each other high fives.

Woofa-wow! Kate and Lucie had no idea they were about to get the surprise of their lives.

The instant their hands touched, the necklaces lit up and there was a pop and a whoosh in the fitting room of the Lucky Find Thrift Shop.

When the smoke cleared, Lucie and Kate couldn't believe their eyes. Two dogs were staring straight at them from the mirror.


Those Dogs Are Us!

"How did those dogs get in here?" said Kate. She looked behind her. No dogs.

Lucie looked under the fitting room chair. No dogs.

They looked in the mirror again. The two dogs were still there, staring back at them.

Kate and Lucie looked at each other. Out of the corner of their eyes, they could see the dogs looking at each other.

Lucie cocked her head. The dog in the mirror cocked its head.

Kate wiggled her behind. The dog in the mirror wiggled its behind.

"It can't be," said Kate.

"No way," said Lucie.

"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" asked Kate.

"You mean that those dogs in the mirror are us?" said Lucie.

"Exactly," said Kate. "It's ridiculous, isn't it?"

"It's impossible," said Lucie.

They studied the dogs. The one looking at Lucie was shaggy with ginger-colored fur hanging almost to her eyes. The fur looked a lot like Lucie's bangs.

The dog in front of Kate was white with brown ears, tan spots, and patches around her eyes. The ears looked a lot like Kate's pigtails. The spots looked like her freckles. The patches were like her glasses.

Both dogs had silver collars with pink dog bones twinkling in the light. They were just like the dog-bone necklaces that ...

"Aaahhhh!" Kate and Lucie screamed together.

"Is everything okay in there, girls?" called Mrs. Bingly.

"Girls?" whispered Kate. "We're not girls anymore. We're dogs!"

"Everything's fine!" called Lucie.

"Fine? What do you mean fine?" hissed Kate. "We just turned into dogs!"

"How do you like the necklaces?" called Mrs. Bingly.

"They're fine, too!" called Lucie.

"Except that now they're dog collars," whispered Kate.

"Why don't you come out and show them to me?" said Mrs. Bingly.

"Oh, great. How are we going to get out of here?" whispered Kate.

"Follow me," said Lucie.

She got down low and slinked under the curtain of the fitting room.

Mrs. Bingly had started arranging tea sets on a shelf. The dogs crawled past her.

"So far, so good," whispered Lucie.

"Watch out!" whispered Kate.

Oops! Too late. Lucie had bumped into a mannequin dressed in a lacy evening gown. It started toppling over. As Mrs. Bingly grabbed the mannequin, she looked down.

"Dogs? How did dogs get in here?" she shouted.

Kate and Lucie jumped up and started to run. Mrs. Bingly was right behind, shooing them out.

Lucie looked over her shoulder and knocked into a rack of scarves. A blue striped scarf fell on her back. A red striped one draped over her eyes.

Just then the door opened and a customer walked in. With the scarf over her eyes, Lucie couldn't see a thing. She ran right into the man and knocked him down.

Kate used her teeth to pull the scarves off Lucie. Then they jumped over the customer together.

Mrs. Bingly raced to help the man up.

"Out, out!" she yelled at the dogs. "Can't you read?"

"I hope we still can read," said Kate as they ran out the door.

When they got outside, they looked back at the sign in the window. They still could read. And the sign was the same as the one at their apartments. In big black letters, it said:



Dogs? What Dogs?

"Stop sniffing me!" said Kate.

"I can't help it. Everything smells amazing — even you!" said Lucie.

"Get a whiff of this garbage can," Kate said as they passed Patty's Pizza.

Lucie was there in an instant. She scarfed down an old pizza crust lying on the ground.

"Yuck, you just ate garbage!" said Kate.

"I know. It was delicious," said Lucie.

Then they passed a window and saw their reflections.

Boing! Kate's tail went straight up in the air.

Shimmy, shimmy, shimmy! Lucie wagged her tail so fast, her whole backside went from side to side.

"We really are adorable as dogs," said Kate. "I love your shaggy coat."

"I love your spots," said Lucie.

"I love our dog-bone collars," said Kate.

"Maybe we can get dog sweaters with ribbons," said Lucie.

"Puh-lease!" said Kate, rolling her eyes.

They were trotting along, when suddenly they stopped in their tracks.

Sniff, sniff.

"Do you smell what I smell?" said Lucie.

"You mean Banana-Fandana gum?" said Kate.

Thanks to their new, super-dog noses, the girls could smell it all the way down the street.

DJ Jackson always chewed three pieces of gum at once. He said it gave him the full flavor.

Thunk, thunk, thunk.

"Do you hear what I hear?" said Kate.

"You mean Danny's basketball?" said Lucie.

Danny DeMarco always bounced his basketball while he walked. If he wasn't bouncing it, he was spinning it on his finger. If he wasn't spinning it, he was taking jump shots.

Sure enough, DJ and Danny turned the corner. They were the two most annoying boys on the planet.

With their super-dog ears, the girls could hear every word the boys were saying, even though they were still far away.

"I bet Lucie and Kate are going to enter Amos's song contest," said Danny. "Whatever they come up with will be goofy for sure."

"Our song will be way better," said DJ.

Grrr. Kate and Lucie growled.

Then Lucie whispered, "They are so obnoxious."

"With a capital O," said Kate.

"Check out those dogs," said DJ. "I wonder who they belong to."

"They're pretty cool-looking," said Danny.

"Omigosh," whispered Lucie. "They think we're cool!"

"Well, we are," said Kate.

Boing! Kate's tail went up again.

Shimmy, shimmy, shimmy. Lucie's backside wagged and wagged.

"Maybe we should take them home," said Danny.

Aaahhh! Kate's tail dropped, and Lucie stopped wagging.

"We've got to get out of here," whispered Lucie.

The dogs ran to the corner. But the light was red.

They heard DJ say, "I want the shaggy one."

"I want the white spotted one," said Danny.

"Ugh! Did you hear that?" said Lucie.

"Quick! In here," said Kate.

They raced down an alley and hid behind a Dumpster.

Sniff, sniff.

"This smells even better than the garbage can," said Lucie.

"Forget that! We've got to change back before Danny and DJ find us," said Kate.

"You're right. Let's do it," said Lucie.

"Do what?" said Kate.

Kate and Lucie looked at each other.

"What did we do to become dogs?" said Lucie.

Kate tried to remember. "First, we put on the necklaces," she said.

"Okay, then what?" said Lucie.

"We said something," said Kate.

"What did we say? Hurry! They're coming," said Lucie.

They heard Danny's and DJ's footsteps loud and clear.

"Think, Kate, what did we say?" said Lucie.

"Abracadabra?" said Kate.

"That doesn't sound right," said Lucie.

The boys were getting closer.

"Maybe they're behind that Dumpster," said DJ.

Lucie and Kate got so scared they barked. Woof!

"I hear them!" said Danny.

"That's what we did. We barked!" whispered Lucie. "Then what?"

"Um, um ... we gave high fives," said Kate. "Quick! Let's do it."

First they woofed. Then they tapped their paws together. Nothing happened.

"We're still dogs," whispered Lucie.

"I know!" said Kate. "We have to woof and tap at the same time."

Together, they said "Woofa-woof!" and tapped their paws.

Woofa-wow! Their dog-bone necklaces lit up. With a pop and a whoosh, they were back to being girls. And not a second too soon. Danny and DJ were standing right in front of them.

"Hey, did you see a couple of dogs around here?" said DJ.

"Dogs? What dogs?" said Kate.

"One was shaggy, and one was white with spots," said Danny.

"You must be seeing things," said Lucie.

"Yes," said Kate. "In fact, you should go to your eye doctor."

"There were definitely two dogs here," said Danny.

"We don't know what you're talking about," said Lucie, looking innocent.

"Come on, Lucie," said Kate. "We have places to go."

"And things to do," said Lucie.

The girls linked arms and walked off with their dog-bone necklaces twinkling in the sun.


How Was Your Morning?

"Do you realize what just happened to us?" said Kate.

"You mean turning into dogs?" said Lucie.

"That would be it," said Kate.

"I wonder where the necklaces came from," said Lucie.

"They must have belonged to a magician," said Kate. "And now they belong to us!"

"This is so cool!" said Lucie.

"We can't have dogs. But now we can be dogs," said Kate.

When they got to their street, Kate said, "Want to come to my house for lunch?"

"Sounds good," said Lucie. "All I had since breakfast was that little pizza crust."

"Yuck. Don't remind me," said Kate.

Sniff, sniff. Lucie leaned over and started sniffing around Kate.

"Stop that! We're not dogs anymore," Kate said.

"I know that. I just want to make sure we don't smell doggy before we see your mom," said Lucie.

"You're right," said Kate. "Is there anything else? Do we have any dog hair on us?"

They checked themselves out and didn't find any clues that they had been dogs.

"Wait! Our necklaces!" said Kate.

"What about them? They won't give us away," said Lucie.

"I just realized we didn't pay for them," Kate said.

"We can go back later. Mrs. Bingly will understand," said Lucie.

When they got to Kate's house, her mom was on the phone.

"I'll bet she's talking to your mom," said Kate.

"Of course she is," said Lucie.

Their moms were best friends just like they were.

Mrs. Farber's job was baking cookies, cakes, and pies that were sold at the farmers market and at Didi's Bakery.

Mrs. Lopez was a teacher at the Little Apple School House.

They were single parents and helped each other out a lot.

"The girls just walked in," said Mrs. Farber. "I'll put us all on speaker phone."

"Hi, Moms!" said Lucie and Kate together.

"I'm going to stay for lunch, okay, Mom?" said Lucie.

"Sure," said Mrs. Lopez. "Be sure to help clean up."

"I will," said Lucie.

"Bye, Christy," said Mrs. Lopez to Kate's mom.

"Later, Liz," Mrs. Farber answered.

After they hung up, Mrs. Farber took four blueberry pies out of one oven and four apple pies out of the other. She was going to deliver them to the bakery later that afternoon.

"How was your morning?" she asked the girls. "What did you do?"

Lucie and Kate looked at each other. They were glad Mrs. Farber was busy slicing cheese for their sandwiches. That way, she couldn't see the panic on their faces.

"What do we say?" mouthed Lucie. "That we barked and wagged and hid behind a Dumpster?"

"Don't be ridiculous," Kate mouthed back. "I'll handle this."

"We went to the thrift shop," she said. "We got these necklaces."

Kate's mom turned and looked. "They're cute," she said.

"We got them in time for Adopt-a-Dog Week," said Kate. "We're going to enter the Amos-on-the-Airwaves song-writing contest."

"We want to help dogs find homes," said Lucie.

"You two are good helpers," said Mrs. Farber. "And the way you love to rhyme, I bet you'll come up with something great."

She set down two glasses of cold milk. Then she gave each girl a plate with a gooey grilled cheese sandwich, cut into four triangles.

"Thanks, Mom," said Kate, arranging the triangles neatly on her plate.

"Thanks, Mrs. Farber. This looks delicious," said Lucie.

Out of the corner of her eye, Kate saw Lucie's head diving down to her plate. Kate poked her in the ribs.

"Stop that!" she whispered. "You're not a dog anymore."

"Just kidding," Lucie whispered back. She picked up the sandwich with her hand.


Excerpted from No dogs allowed by Stephanie Calmenson, Joanna Cole, Heather Ross. Copyright © 2013 Stephanie Calmenson and Joanna Cole. Excerpted by permission of Henry Holt and Company.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Stephanie Calmenson's books have been called "marvelous" (Publishers Weekly), "lyrical", "hilarious" (School Library Journal), and "sweet, funny, and right on the mark" (Booklist). A former teacher, children's book editor, and Editorial Director of the Parents Magazine Press Read-Aloud Book Club, she has written such favorites as Dinner at the Panda Palace; Late for School; Rosie, a Visiting Dog's Story; and May I Pet Your Dog.

Joanna Cole is the author of the Magic School Bus franchise, which has been a pillar of Scholastic's success over the past twenty years or more. Joanna, a former elementary school teacher, has also written many bestselling and long-lived picture books for children, including Bony-Legs; Hungry, Hungry Sharks; and How You Were Born.

Heather Ross is the creator of Crafty Chloe and the illustrator of many books including Iva Honeysuckle Discovers the World and Mo Wren, Lost and Found. She lives in New York with her family.

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No Dogs Allowed 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just got it! I love it my favorite part is when they turn into dogs!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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