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Friday, March 29, 2013

First Dog Fala



 First Dog Fala
 by Elizabeth Van Steenwyk; illus by Michael G. Montgomery
32 pages, ages 4-8
Peachtree 2008

Theme: Friendship

President Franklin D. Roosevelt lived and worked in the White House, writes Elizabeth Van Steenwyk. His days were long and filled with meetings and phone calls, and at night he was often alone. But that changed when, in 1940, a Scottish terrier came to live with Roosevelt in the White House. Fala attended important meetings, played on the lawn and, ate dinner with the president.

Fala was there when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. He was there when Roosevelt sent American boys to war, and when the president announced the invasion at Normandy.

What I like: History told through a story of friendship. I also like imagining life as a White House Dog: hearing secrets, slipped treats from White House reporters, traveling with the First Family…..

Beyond the book: Fala isn’t the first White House dogs. Presidents from George Washington on have had pets – even the Obamas have a dog. You can learn more about presidential dogs (and other pets) here and here. Then, when you think you know who’s who in Presidential doggy history, challenge yourself to a game of “First Dogs” here.

 This review is part of PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. Review copy provided by the publisher.

8 comments:

  1. I'm a dog person. I wasn't familiar with this book but I will certainly seek it out.

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  2. Sounds like a fun way to learn a little history, from the president's dog. I reviewed a book about the variety of pets the president's had and it didn't go into a lot of detail. I like this because you get a persepective of history. Nice choice.

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  3. I love picture books infused with history. Thank-you. I can't wait to take the Presidential pet quiz!

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  4. Nice pick - love the perspective on the cover!

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  5. I love stories about famous people and their pets. Thanks for highlighting this one!

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  6. Oh Sue, I love books that show an incident or minor figure in history and use them to speak to the larger picture. This looks like a great story! Plus Fala is so darn cute.

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  7. Love this idea of history through a dogs eyes! Great way to teach kids (and adults). Thanks for sharing, Sue.

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  8. I love the idea of this book, too. I'm hoping my library has it. Great book to add to the list!

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