Monday, May 25, 2009

Now Hiring: White House Dog

Walker & Company
Gina Bazer and Renanah Lehner; Illustrations by Andrew Day

Obviously, this is a book that was written about a prominent real life family. It has been widely reported by the media that America's first family is in the market for a White House dog. What better way to get kids familiar with current events than a concept they can easily identify with?

Despite promises of a dog from Mom and Dad, no action has been taken to actually acquire one. Tired of waiting, the girls decide to create a sign for their front lawn, detailing the fact that there is a vacancy in their family for a new best friend. Their advertising proves to be effective, with dogs arriving immediately to apply for the position! One, then two, then four more, until the lawn is filled with furry bodies! Each time a new dog arrives, the girls are treated to a clever little introductory poem.

The girls scurry to conceal their rhyming applicants until after the family's big party is over. Just as the last guests take their leave, the house is filled with barking. The dogs have infiltrated the White House! As soon as the girls meet up with the dogs, the house is filled with sneezing instead. It seems one of the girls is allergic to the dogs. A small, black puppy breaks from the pack and explains that his fur is special and will not cause allergic reactions. The parents agree that this is the right choice for their family and they also find special homes for the rest of the dogs. Happy, wagging endings all the way around.

In real life, the Obama family has adopted a 6-month-old Portuguese Water Dog. This breed is known for high spirits and said to be a good fit for kids with allergies. The Obama girls, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, chose to dub their new puppy Bo, a name that has meaning to their family. This book is a fun way to introduce children to current events and to help them realize that selecting a family pet is a universal experience, no matter which house you live in.

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