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Book Review: The First Pup, by Bob Staake

by Therese on June 18, 2010

in Book Reviews, Dogs


Regardless of whether or not you like President Obama, The First Pup: The Real Story of How Bo Got to the White House is a cute book.

Just about everybody remembers Obama’s promise to his daughters Sasha and Malia that they’d get a dog when they moved into the White House. Bob Staake, writer and illustrator, has taken that story and turned into a sweet book that young kids who like puppies will enjoy.

The First Pup: The Real Story of How Bo Got to the White HouseThe whole story of the first dog drew a lot of attention, and Staake has done a great job of writing it in a way that’s fun to read. For me though, the artwork is what makes it such a great book. Staake’s art has a way of making me feel like it’s almost animated.

I imagine just about every kid who opens The First Pup will want to spend time looking at all the dogs – not just Bo! I got stuck on the inside cover when I opened it, where there are illustrations of dogs galore, all running in the same direction. There are poodles, chihuahuas, hound dogs, pugs, dachshunds, and of course Bo, the Portuguese Water Dog. I can tell you for a fact that, when I was a little girl, I would have looked at all of these dogs and come up with a name for each and every one!

Here’s a bit of the media info on Bob Staake:

Bob Staake is an illustrator who has worked on everything from greeting cards to magazine covers, most notably Reflections, one of the most popular covers in the New Yorker’s history. He has also written and illustrated over 20 children’s books, including The Donut Chef and Pets Go Pop!. THE FIRST PUP is based on his 4/27/2009 New Yorker Magazine cover art spotlighting Bo’s welcome to the White House.

Would you like a copy of The First Pup for your child? I’ve got a copy to give away.

Here’s how to enter:

Leave a message below telling us about your little girl or boy and how much they like dogs. Hint: cute or touching stories never hurt! 😉

On June 30 we’ll choose a winner!

Pretty easy, huh? Let’s hear those stories!

Just like most contests, this one has some rules. You’ll find them here.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

jillian June 20, 2010 at 6:13 pm

My 3 yr. old daughter loves anything that has puppies on it, and I know she would adore this book. She knows who President Obama is and knows the name of his dog – even if she doesn’t understand his job!


Sylvia June 21, 2010 at 11:21 am

Oh my gosh, I just watched the video and it looks like an adooorable book. I know my 4 year old twins would love this book. We have a dog and the 3 of them are inseparable. My kids are huge dog lovers and I know they would spend hours just looking at the pictures if they won.


Mandy June 23, 2010 at 9:36 am

This book is so adorable! My son-to-be, Luke, would love to read it. I want him to know the story of how President Obama promised his daughters a dog, and I also want to read him many animal-centric stories as soon as possible. My little man will be a friend to animals. I’m sure this book will make him want a dog of his own! 😉


Jelica June 25, 2010 at 12:37 am

My son Tyler (3 1/2 years old) has been with dogs since he was born! To this day he would wake up to the sound of pots & pans, doorbell, or garage door opening, but NEVER has he woken up to ou dogs barking – and let me tell you…four dogs barking is quite echoey 🙂 He loves and respects dogs so much that when we see a dog during our outings…he tells me that they are “sooooo cute” and yells “doggie, doggie, doggie”. But regardless of his love and excitement of our dogs or new dogs, whenever we meet a new dog he extends his hand out and says “nice doggie”…I have succeeded in creating not only a doggie lover, but a lover who knows what to do when it comes to his safety 🙂


Beth Bowers June 29, 2010 at 4:21 pm

What a great book! I too agree with the illustrations, they look amazing! Burt and I have taken over a library program here in Dallas where he goes twice a month for kids to read to him and work on their literacy skills. Many of these kids are underpriveledged who either are too fearful to read at home or very shy. Some just sit and pet Burt while reading quietly in his ear. He doesn’t correct them or judge them and he usually will lay his head in his lap as if to say, “You’re doing great, keep going!” He even had a 16 year old visit him once who couldn’t read very well but she picked up a preschool cardboard book and read from start to finish with him. It was life-changing! We would love to add this to our collection for all of Burt’s kids at this library and schools around DFW that he frequents!


Therese July 1, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Thanks to everyone for entering, and congratulations to Beth and Burt! We’ll be sending the book about Bo Obama to them so they can help kids learn how to read!!

Thanks everybody!


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