Which Puppy?


Calling all puppies!

The White House is looking for a pet!

When word spreads far and wide around the globe that the First Family is looking for a pet, animals of all sorts want the part: puppies from Egypt, India, and France; a Neapolitan mastiff from Maryland; and even a kitten, a guinea pig, skunks, turtles, and a raccoon.

Which puppy will...

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Calling all puppies!

The White House is looking for a pet!

When word spreads far and wide around the globe that the First Family is looking for a pet, animals of all sorts want the part: puppies from Egypt, India, and France; a Neapolitan mastiff from Maryland; and even a kitten, a guinea pig, skunks, turtles, and a raccoon.

Which puppy will be chosen?

Pulitzer prize winner Jules Feiffer teams up with his daughter Kate to tell a warmhearted tale of a worldwide competition to be the perfect pet!

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  • Tagged! CloseUp: Which Puppy?
    Tagged! CloseUp: Which Puppy?  

Editorial Reviews

Elizabeth Bird
Jules Feiffer makes fine use of his trademark curls and swirls of the pen, filling the pages to overflowing with a cornucopia of prospective pups. Against a white backdrop the pictures and words tumble over one another like dogs at play.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Who should become the First Pup in the Obama White House? In this whimsical imagining by the father-daughter team behind Henry the Dog with No Tail, animals across the globe take the matter into their own paws-and not all contenders for the honor are canines. " 'I'd make a fine puppy,' squeaked a guinea pig named Sam. 'I'm starting barking lessons tomorrow,' bragged a turtle named Marple." When a contest and a lottery fail to determine a suitable winner, an older dog quotes from an ancient dictate outlining the qualifications for "a true presidential puppy." Two pooches and the guinea pig fit the bill and head to Washington, only to discover that the First Family already has a puppy (cleverly pictured only as an indistinct blur, which may help extend this story's shelf life). In an upbeat resolution, the trio of would-be pets is invited to stay and play with the White House's new four-legged resident. Rendered in brush, ink and watercolor markers, Jules Feiffer's characteristically fluid, unadorned illustrations produce an animated animal cast, easily matching the narrative's buoyancy. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
Everyone knows that President Obama promised his daughters a puppy after they moved to the White House as well as the media frenzy that followed as speculation grew as to what breed of dog would be selected. Following on that theme, the Feiffers have imaged a canine contest where puppies from around the world (a kitty, turtle, and guinea pig too) vied for the honor. The old Basset hound was called upon to judge but none of the winners was acceptable. When a dog with a "roly-poly body and ears that stuck straight up" suggested that a presidential pup must have "two rings around one paw, a heart on its face, an eye that winks, and a tail that tells time" the other dogs know just who to send to the White House. Two puppies and one guinea pig are the embodiment of a presidential pup but much to their dismay when they arrive at the family's quarters, the family is already ensconced with their new puppy. What a shame that the lively and whimsical illustrations were wasted on such a lame story. The anticlimactic ending will leave readers disappointed and the topical nature of the story will soon, if not already, be outdated. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 3

Ever since President Obama announced that his daughters would have a puppy, the world began speculating about what kind of dog would come to the White House. Here, the Feiffers put their own comical spin on the situation as Jules amusingly expands Kate's whimsical, heartwarming tale with loose, fluid black lines embellished with scruffy warm colors. As the story plays out, it isn't only humans who are interested in the First Puppy to be. Animals everywhere begin vying for the role. One making a pitch is Sam, the guinea pig who thinks he would make a very pleasing puppy. The greatest contest occurs in the canine kingdom, where eventually a roly-poly dog settles the brouhaha with the proclamation that "ancient custom dictates that a true presidential puppy must have two rings around one paw, a heart on its face, an eye that winks, and a tail that tells time." Finally, an old Basset hound from Mississippi declares that "the girls will get three pets instead of one." Off to Washington, the trio arrives at the White House, where the Feiffers concoct just the right welcome for the threesome and a highly satisfying and perfect ending to a captivating story.-Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA

Kirkus Reviews
Opening with then-President-Elect Obama's acceptance-speech promise to his daughters that they "have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House," Feiffers daughter and father present a look at the behind-the-scenes shenanigans as all sorts of canine (and feline and rodent and reptilian . . . ) candidates vie for the position. Setting himself up as judge, the "oldest Basset hound in Mississippi" devises a series of inconclusive tests and exposes a cheating mastiff before a large bulldog declares that "ancient custom dictates that a true presidential puppy must have two rings around one paw, a heart on its face, an eye that winks, and a tail that tells time." This hugely arbitrary anticlimax leads to two puppies and one guinea pig, who, combined, display all the bulldog's listed attributes, venturing to the White House-just in time for another anticlimax: Sasha and Malia already have a puppy, presumably the only one who didn't try out. But they all play happily ever after. Except for one fabulous image of the Basset in mid-howl, this is forgettable. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416991472
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
  • Publication date: 4/7/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD770L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.42 (w) x 10.28 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Kate Feiffer is a writer, a filmmaker, and a mother. She is the author of the picture books No Go Sleep!; President Pennybaker; But I Wanted a Baby Brother!; The Wild, Wild Inside; Which Puppy?; My Mom Is Trying to Ruin My Life; and Double Pink; and of the middle-grade novels Signed by Zelda and The Problem with the Puddles. She lives with her family on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Visit her at KateFeiffer.com.

Jules Feiffer has won a number of prizes for his cartoons, plays, and screenplays, including the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning. Among the books he’s illustrated for children are The Phantom Tollbooth, Some Things Are Scary, and in collaboration with his daughter Kate, Henry the Dog with No Tail, and No Go Sleep. He is the author and illustrator of Bark, George, I Lost My Bear, Meanwhile, and The Man in the Ceiling.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer


    his is a fun story with a bit of history included. Kate Feiffer has created an imaginative tale about what happened in the animal world when President Obama announced that he was looking for a puppy for his two daughters. After all, what puppy wouldn't want to be First Dog and live in the White House?

    Well, some animals would go to any lengths to live in Washington with the First Family. For instance a turtle named Marple decided to take barking lessons in hope that he could pass for a puppy, and a kitten practiced begging and jumping up on people. Eventually several of the puppies (including Sam the guinea pig) headed to our nation's capital. They were in for quite a surprise when they arrived.

    No one can resist the whimsical illustrations of Pulitzer Prize recipient Jules Feiffer. When father and daughter are paired the result is a book that's a keeper to be read now and later put away to read to grandkids.


    - Gail Cooke

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