cover image The First Pup: The Real Story of How Bo Got to the White House

The First Pup: The Real Story of How Bo Got to the White House

Bob Staake. , Feiwel and Friends, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-312-61346-4

Staake's (Pets Go Pop!) welcome addition to the cache of Bo books offers an enthusiastic look at how the Portuguese water dog came to live at the White House. Neither as fact-driven as Carole Boston Weatherford's First Pooch nor as fanciful as Kate Feiffer's Which Puppy? this account is downright centrist by comparison, giving familiar and lesser-known particulars a whimsical bent. Kids will warm to the backstory of how the late Sen. Edward Kennedy acquired the puppy (a littermate of his own pet) for the Obamas. "When he learned that one of the litter of pups... had been returned to the farm and needed a second chance, he had a great idea...." Staake's stylized, angular illustrations take playful liberties with proportion and perspective, presenting caricatures of the first family, as well as Bo, White House staffers, and assorted fans. The canine's festive, red carpet arrival by limousine (complete with a sextet of buglers, a chef with a bone on a tray, and plenty of attentive Secret Service agents) is but one of the visual highlights in this exuberant tale. Ages 5–8. (June)