Saturday, October 5, 2013

"No Dogs Allowed"

Stephanie Calmenson, who grew up in Brooklyn, New York never expecting to become a writer, is now the highly acclaimed author of over 100 books for children, including the beloved Dinner at the Panda Palace, a PBS Storytime Book; Late for School! and Oopsy, Teacher! (Mr. Bungles books); and Ollie's School Day, a Children's Book-of-the-Month-Club selection. As a kid, her heart's desire was to have a dog, but it didn't happen. Dogs are now a big part of her life and her work with books such as May I Pet Your Dog?, starring her dachshund, Harry (Horn Book Fanfare; ALA Children's Video Award); Rosie: A Visiting Dog's Story, starring her Tibetan terrier, Rosie ("one of the outstanding nonfiction books of the year" -- Smithsonian Magazine) and No Dogs Allowed!, the first book in the new Ready, Set, Dogs! series written with Magic School Bus author Joanna Cole, starring two girls who -- woofa-wow! -- turn into dogs.

Calmenson applied the Page 69 Test to No Dogs Allowed! and reported the following:
Page 69 is a great page to happen upon even though it's a full page illustration instead of text because it depicts a madcap scene in the book. Kate and Lucie are best friends and each of them loves dogs and wants to have one, but can't. One day, at their local thrift shop, The Lucky Find, they try on two sparkly pink dog bone necklaces and discover they're magic. With a POP! and a WHOOSH! Kate and Lucie turn into dogs. Fortunately they're able to figure out how to turn themselves back into girls and the fun begins as they switch back and forth. The scene on page 69 shows them burying bones in their moms' garden. The moms are calling, "Scoot!" and "Scram, dogs, scram!". They have no idea they're yelling at their own daughters. The dogs disappear and turn themselves back into girls. When their moms recount how two dogs destroyed their garden, Kate and Lucie say, "What bad dogs!" and "Shame on them." The girls are trying not to laugh, but at the same time they feel pretty bad about what they did and offer to clean up the mess. As they get to work, they overhear their moms talking about them. "Our girls sure are growing up. It's wonderful how they jumped right in to help," says Kate's mom. "They really are changing," says Lucie's mom. "If they only knew," says Lucie, raking up the scattered lettuce. Page 69 shows the kind of mischief two girls who turn into dogs can get into!
Learn more about the book and author at Stephanie Calmenson's website.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Stephanie Calmenson & Harry.

--Marshal Zeringue