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WHICH PUPPY? by Kate Feiffer


by Kate Feiffer & illustrated by Jules Feiffer

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: April 7th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4169-9147-2
Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

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)