Linda Kulp Trout

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Best Books: First Dog's White House Christmas

First Dog is back, and he is ready to celebrate Christmas. I hadn’t planned on blogging today,  but when this adorable picture book arrived on my doorstep, I had to tell you about it. This is the second First Dog book written by father-daughter team J Patrick Lewis and Beth Zappitello. It is not a collection of poems, but since one of our most beloved poets wrote it, I thought it deserved a spot on Poetry Friday.

It all starts when First Dog invites his friends from around the world to celebrate Christmas at the White House. He asks each of them to share a Christmas tradition from their country. Through the  warmth and humor of First Dog, readers learn some pretty cool facts about this special holiday. For instance, did you know that in Germany, they hang a glass pickle on the tree and the first child to find it gets an extra present? I can’t wait to hear my students’ reactions when I read them this book in December. It will fit perfectly with the essay they write about their own family traditions.

Another thing I love about this book is that readers learn about a breed of dog from each country. The descriptions of the dogs along with Tim Bowers’ gorgeous illustrations reveal each canine's personality and had me laughing out loud. Just picture this lovable character, “The visitor from Italy, the Neapolitan Mastiff, had a face that looked like a map of the Alps— without the snow.” He really is very cute.

This book was so much fun to read, I hope more First Dog books will follow. Thanks Pat and Beth for a book my grand-daughter is sure to love for years to come.