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Capture the Flag
Kate Messner


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The First Pup PDF Print E-mail

What You Need to Know:
• President Barack Obama and his family are the stars of this picture book.
• The illustrations are the highlight of this simple story.
• You may be inspired to adopt a puppy of your own, after reading about this one!
• There are other picture books about the Presidential pup, but this one would be my first pick.
Sweet Book Summary:
It begins like a fairy tale with “Once upon a time” but this book is based on the true story of how the First Family acquired their “First Pup.” It starts when Barack Obama becomes president of the United States, and one of the first things that he does is to announce that his family will get a puppy. The country is thrilled to hear this news, as are his two daughters, Sasha and Malia. When they arrive at the White House, the girls find crowds of people, marching bands, TV reporters, generals and even chefs and housekeepers, but NO PUPPY. That’s because they have to pick the right one. After looking at many options, they make their decision and, with the help of Senator Kennedy, find just the right dog from a farm in Texas. The puppy’s arrival at the White House looks a bit like the Queen of England approaching Buckingham Palace, with servants, fancy uniforms and identical guards, but I guess that’s part of the fairy tale version of this story. The fairy tale is complete when Sasha and Malia find the perfect name, BO, for their new friend and the rest is history.

The whimsical illustrations, created using both traditional and digital techniques, are really the highlight of this book. The colors are vibrant, the people are expressive and the overall feeling throughout is cheerful and upbeat. There are many interesting details to grab your reader’s attention, from the unique way that each individual is drawn to the unexpected items that pop off each page, like the bunny watching Bo’s arrival at the White House. I personally noticed that one of the dresses that Mrs. Obama wears, is a very good likeness to one she wore in real life. So clearly make sure that your kids read along with you to enjoy these fun illustrations and if you don’t already have a dog yourself, be prepared for that big request from your own kids.
Author: Bob Staake Illustrator: Bob Staake Published: 2010, 40 pages
Themes: Animals, Family Life, Government
Sweet Discussion Questions:
• Would you like to live in the White House?
• How do you think Sasha and Malia’s lives changed when they moved into the White House?
• Why are people so fascinated with Presidential pups?
• Would you like to be President of the United States one day?
• Do you think that the President walks his own dog?
• Does Bo have his own security detail?
If You Liked This Book, Try:
America Votes, Linda Granfield
All Kinds of Families, Mary Ann Hoberman
Duck for President, Doreen Cronin
This recommendation was written by: Melissa G.
Support Independent Book Shops: Click Here to Buy this Book on IndieBound

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