Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

No Dogs Allowed!

No Dogs Allowed!

Sonia Manzano
Illustrator:   Jon J. Muth 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Simon and Schuster, 2004   ISBN: 0689830882

Iris is a seven year old and she lives in the Bronx in New York City with her Mami, her Papi, her big sister Shorty, and her dog El Exigente. One day the family decides to go to the “Enchanted State Park,” and so they get up very early, pack up enough food for a small army, and meet up with all the friends and relatives who are going with them. Everyone is taking something, except El Exigente, who is just taking himself.

Soon a convoy of cars is heading for the state park. Papi’s car breaks down and then they get lost, but eventually they get to their destination. Iris is super excited to go “jumping in the Enchanted Lake and getting some enchanted sun and eating some enchanted lunch and taking an enchanted nap…” and so on. Then Shorty sees a big sign that says: NO DOGS ALLOWED! What are they going to do? Are they going to have to go home after that long drive just because someone decided that poor El Exigente and his fellow dogs are not allowed in the park?

This deliciously funny picture book beautifully captures the warmth of a Hispanic family during a day trip to a lake. The names Ivy gives her relatives, her exaggerations, and the way in which they all deal with the NO DOGS ALLOWED sign is priceless. Readers will find themselves envying Ivy for her colorful and loving family.