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THE FIRST PUP by Bob Staake


The Real Story of How Bo Got to the White House

by Bob Staake & illustrated by Bob Staake

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: May 25th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-312-61346-4
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

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)