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NO DOGS ALLOWED! by Sonia Manzano


by Sonia Manzano & illustrated by Jon J Muth

Pub Date: April 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-689-83088-2
Publisher: Atheneum

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)