No Honking Allowed

illus. by AntonGionata Ferrari. 40p. Holiday House. Aug. 2017. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9780823436729.
PreS-Gr 2—In this story in verse, two dinosaurs, Rex and Stego, go for a drive through the city. Rex is behind the wheel and really wants to use the car horn to express himself. He could honk to greet a friend, delight some children, scold a litterer, or even to tell another driver to slow down—but Stego keeps pointing out the signs that say "No honking, except for safety." When a fire truck needs to get through traffic, Rex finally gets to honk so that the other drivers will make room. After, he asks Stego if he can "honk for happy?" She replies, "Honking's for safety. That is the rule. For anything else, it just isn't cool." The narrative then breaks the fourth wall when Rex points out they are "make-believe dinos" and in a book, so Rex gets to honk until he is ticketed by a dino cop. Ferrari's exuberant illustrations of watercolor, acrylic, and ink fill the pages, capturing the energy and bustle of busy city streets crammed with cars. There is plenty of white space, and the text, with its controlled vocabulary, is ideal for emergent readers. Though adults might feel this tale is heavy-handed with its message about honking etiquette, children who don't usually have access to car horns may appreciate the silly humor.
VERDICT A great, funny read-aloud and suggested purchase for libraries where goofy dinosaur stories are in demand.

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