Sunday, February 12, 2012

You Don't Mean That! No Dogs Allowed by Linda Ashman


It is opening day at Alberto's Cafe.

Proprietor Alberto is clearly proud of his new establishment. It's a cheery but stylish little bistro, with sidewalk seating with a nice view of the fountain on the plaza, and Alberto, a spotless apron tied around his trim middle, is eager to serve all comers.

Except...for one little warning:


Uh oh! Alberto's first would-be customers all seem to have dogs--well behaved dogs--but dogs nonetheless--and they turn away in disappointment.

Then a customer with a cat approaches. Alberto hastens to amend his prohibition to include cats.

More customer wannabes come, and Alberto stays busy, not serving patrons, but amending his sign, to include bunnies, kangaroos, and elephants. Finally, he abandons the specific and goes for the general:


Then a man approaches with his parrot on his shoulder, followed by a family walking their pet iguana. Alberto adds a prohibition against feathers and then against anyone with scales.

But while Alberto is occupied with further fussy proscriptions, he fails to notice what is going on the square right in front of his still empty shop. A magician has set up by the fountain, and an ice cream vendor, a lemonade cart, and other food sellers are showing up to reap the business of the crowd of pet owners that seems to be congregating around the show in the square.

Suddenly Alberto gets it. A new name goes up in front of his cafe.


Alberto has finally found his marketing niche, in Linda Ashman's charming little tale of product placement, No Dogs Allowed! (Sterling, 2011). Artist Kristin Sorra gives the stylized, sophisticated, but simple illustrations just the right touch of irony, from Alberto's turned-up nose to the elephant in the plaza which makes the point obvious that this proprietor is missing a merchandising opportunity big time, and readers will rejoice when Alberto moves his all seating outside and welcomes even a flock of penguins to his now grand opening!

"Elegant storytelling fun." says Publishers Weekly.



  • Sounds fun. I'm sure kids will like the idea of a cafe where they can bring their pets and meet other animals.

    By Blogger Playing by the book, at 3:14 AM  

  • With an oh-so-subtle subliminal message about discrimination!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:23 AM  

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