The First Pup: The Real Story of How Bo Got to the White House

Overview

Once upon a time, a man named Barack Obama ran for president of the United States and he won! On the night of his victory, he made a very important announcement: When he and his family were settled in their new home in Washington, D.C., his daughters would get . . . A PUPPY!
 
On a farm in Texas, a puppy had been born. One of ten ...

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Overview

Once upon a time, a man named Barack Obama ran for president of the United States and he won! On the night of his victory, he made a very important announcement: When he and his family were settled in their new home in Washington, D.C., his daughters would get . . . A PUPPY!
 
On a farm in Texas, a puppy had been born. One of ten brothers and sisters, this puppy was lively and smart, but he needed a new home.
 
From a Texas farm to the White House, this is the real story of Bo—the First Pup!

 

The First Pup is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Staake's (Pets Go Pop!) welcome addition to the cache of Bo books offers an enthusiastic look at how the Portuguese water dog came to live at the White House. Neither as fact-driven as Carole Boston Weatherford's First Pooch nor as fanciful as Kate Feiffer's Which Puppy? this account is downright centrist by comparison, giving familiar and lesser-known particulars a whimsical bent. Kids will warm to the backstory of how the late Sen. Edward Kennedy acquired the puppy (a littermate of his own pet) for the Obamas. "When he learned that one of the litter of pups... had been returned to the farm and needed a second chance, he had a great idea...." Staake's stylized, angular illustrations take playful liberties with proportion and perspective, presenting caricatures of the first family, as well as Bo, White House staffers, and assorted fans. The canine's festive, red carpet arrival by limousine (complete with a sextet of buglers, a chef with a bone on a tray, and plenty of attentive Secret Service agents) is but one of the visual highlights in this exuberant tale. Ages 5-8. (June)
From the Publisher

Praise for First Pup:
“Delightfully illustrated.” —Travelforkids.com

“Staake writes energetically and illustrates exuberantly. His stylized drawings play with proportion, resulting in a pleasing retro perspective.” —The Cleveland Plain-Dealer

“In whimsical, antic illustrations, Staake shows us a busy White House filled with TV cameras, Secret Service and housekeeping staff…But what makes it all work is the wonderful energy of Staake's cartoon-like art and zippy text.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Staake's (Pets Go Pop!) welcome addition to the cache of Bo books offers an enthusiastic look at how the Portuguese water dog came to live at the White House . . . . The canine's festive, red carpet arrival by limousine (complete with a sextet of buglers, a chef with a bone on a tray, and plenty of attentive Secret Service agents) is but one of the visual highlights in this exuberant tale.” —Publishers Weekly

“Staake chronicles President Obama’s 2008 victory speech and the ensuing media blitz surrounding the new puppy promised that night to his daughters . . . . one of the best versions of the tale so far.” —School Library Journal

“The spring of 2009 saw a host of First Dog books; this more mature work should win the vote.” —Kirkus Reviews

“This sweet story is a treasure for parents, teachers and readers. It is a fine example of nonfiction and contains a very pertinent history lesson. Staake's illustrations were created by using both traditional and digital means and are sure to evoke smiles from all who partake.” —Children’s Literature

Children's Literature - Summer Whiting
This is the true story of how a very special pup came to live in the most famous house in America. Not too long ago, a man by the name of Barack Obama ran for president of the United States and won! He had a lot to share with the American public on the night of his victory and an even bigger announcement for his two daughters, Sasha and Malia. Once his family moved into the White House, the girls would receive a new puppy. Oh, how to choose? There were poodles and schnauzers and terriers and beagles, and spaniels and collies and retrievers and Labradors. During this decision making process, a sweet little pup had been born on a farm in Texas. Thanks to a very special senator, this chosen pup made his way to our nation's capital and found a home on Pennsylvania Avenue. This sweet story is a treasure for parents, teachers and readers. It is a fine example of nonfiction and contains a very pertinent history lesson. Staake's illustrations were created by using both traditional and digital means and are sure to evoke smiles from all who partake. Reviewer: Summer Whiting
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—Staake chronicles President Obama's 2008 victory speech and the ensuing media blitz surrounding the new puppy promised that night to his daughters. The pop-culture tale includes the well-known details of how Senator Ted Kennedy suggested a Texas-born Portuguese water dog, a sibling of one of his own dogs, when that puppy's first home didn't work out. It is Easter weekend on the White House lawn, a rosy day with a rosy sky, when the red carpet is rolled out and up rolls a limousine with the new puppy. Staake's sophisticated cartoons combine traditional and digital techniques to create depth and give the drawings a crisp, vibrant, retro flavor. This is one of the best versions of the tale so far, but it remains lightweight fare.—Sara Lissa Paulson, American Sign Language and English Lower School PS 347, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
This stylish, jazzy introduction to both the First Family and their new dog provides an entertaining and simple-to-understand look at the current residents of the White House. Although the story focuses on the Obama family's acquisition of a puppy, with the assistance of Senator Ted Kennedy, the bare-bones basics of the presidential election, famous landmarks in Washington, D.C., and life at the White House are also conveyed. Staake employs both traditional and digital methods to create his stylized illustrations, using exaggerated shapes and proportions such as an extra-long limousine and impossibly short diplomats. This style adds movement and flair to his work, though sometimes the Obama daughters appear as short as preschoolers and other times at their correct height. The elements of the dog's arrival at the White House have been slightly altered, as the dog arrives in his own limousine to great fanfare and extensive news coverage, but this somewhat embellished retelling matches the exuberant nature of the appealing art. The spring of 2009 saw a host of First Dog books; this more mature work should win the vote. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312613464
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
  • Publication date: 5/25/2010
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 404,634
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD890L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.30 (w) x 8.58 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

BOB STAAKE is a freelance illustrator who has worked on everything from greeting cards to magazine covers, most notably Reflections, one of the most popular covers in the New Yorker’s history. He has also written and illustrated over 20 children’s books, including This Is Not a Pumpkin and The Red Lemon.

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