"If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog." - President Harry Truman
(quote featured in Wackiest White House Pets by Gibbs Davis)
Looks like a puppy is headed for the White House! President-elect Barack Obama apparently made a pledge to his daughters Malia and Sasha. His promise -- after the election, they would get a puppy. So, of course, there's a lot of press coverage devoted to this potential presidential pet. What breed are they going to choose? Will the puppy come from a shelter? I imagine the answer will soon come. In the meantime, here's a fun book all about past presidential pets.
I received a copy of Wackiest White House Pets by Gibbs Davis just in time for the elections earlier this week. The children's book covers an amuzing array of past presidential pets, from Jefferson's mocking birds to Teddy Roosevelt's chaotic "zoo" which included a one-legged rooster! Fifteen presidents and their pets are featured in this lighthearted read, each earning a special wackiest pet designation. For instance, George Washington's horses earned the "Cleanest Teeth" title while the "Luckiest Pet" went to Lincoln's lucky turkey pardoned from the Thanksgiving table. Hilarious almost cartoonish illustrations by David A. Johnson add interest to the text. Unfortunately, my preschool daughter was slightly frightened by the sight of John Quincy Adams running away from an alligator on the cover. However, the book is meant for ages 7 to 10, so I imagine that age group would greatly enjoy the silly scenes pictured. The final pages of the book include a fact-filled listing of all 43 presidents and their respective pets. Most kids love pets. They'll devour this read, and quite possibly absorb some useful presidential facts while they are at it!
Wackiest White House Pets by Gibbs Davis, illustrated by David A. Johnson. Scholastic Press (October 1, 2004), 48 pages, ISBN 9780439443739
Awards: 2004 Parents' Choice Gold Award Winner.
Links to recent posts about pets in the White House:
• AKC list of the most famous four-legged friends in American history
• NPR story - Obama Family Ponders First Pup
The NPR online story includes a slideshow Photo Gallery of Presidential Dogs Throughout History. My favorite photo is President Ford's dog Liberty in the Oval Office. His golden retriever looks like it's in doggy heaven!
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