A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Test and pictures demonstrate what homonyms and homophones are and show how they can drastically alter the meaning of sentences. Punctuation is used to alter some sentences meanings, which offers room for parents and educators to extend learning.
English can be weird, interesting, and hilarious. Wordplay is fun, and you can learn from it.
Positive Role Models
Illustrations feature humans, animals, animals behaving like humans, gnomes, monsters, mermaids, and even a mummy. Humans of many skin colors represented, as are several multiracial families and groups of friends.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that No Reading Allowed: The WORST Read-Aloud Book Ever, by best-selling authors Raj Haldar and Chris Carpenter, brings back Ptolemy the Pterodactyl from their P Is for Pterodactyl to teach readers about homonyms and homophones. These tricky words are mashed into sound-alike sentences that have drastically different meanings, resulting in absurdly funny situations. A "fowl feat" and "foul feet," "raining" and "reigning" cats and dogs, "four mermaids" and "former maids," represent just a handful of the giggle-worthy wordplay showcased in this language lover's playground of a book. Carefully placed punctuation that alters meaning offers readers another opportunity for learning. Illustrator Bryce Gladfelter's helpfully explanatory pictures are sure to entertain. That said, some words and sentences are quite sophisticated and may require an adult for clarification. Suitable for all ages, but new and fluent readers may get the most out of it. Of course, No Reading Allowed begs to be read-aloud.
Is It Any Good?
This wildly entertaining collection of wordplay is a joy to read again and again. No Reading Allowed is like its predecessor P is for Pterodactyl in terms of its obsession with the quirkiness of the English language, and just as pleasing. Delightfully silly pairings like "His pants are tapered" (a '90s break dancer in baggy, tapered pants) and "His pants are tapired," (as in the animals called tapirs clinging to a man's lower pant legs). Sticklers for grammar may have their feathers ruffled a tad by the creative license the authors take when making an adjective or a verb out of words almost exclusively used as nouns, but young readers are likely to find it punny and imaginative. Bryce Gladfelter's well-imagined and laugh-inducing illustrations enhance meaning-making and provide lots for little eyes to linger on. Finding the green, fuzzy monster on many of the pages is added fun. This subversively educational pick will have readers of all ages laughing, groaning, and learning.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.