Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

First Dog's White House Christmas

First Dog's White House Christmas

J. Patrick Lewis , Beth Zappitello
Illustrator:  Tim Bowers 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 8
Sleeping Bear Press, 2010   ISBN: 1585365033

Dog lives in the White House, and one day he wakes up from a nap to see an invitation lying on a desk. The invitation invites an ambassador “and a guest” to come to the “annual White House Christmas gala.” Eager to show of his lovely home during the festive season, Dog amends the invitation to read “and a canine guest…”

Dog then starts planning how he will entertain his guests at the gala. He will show them the eighteen-foot tall official White House Christmas tree, and the Nativity Scene. He will show off the 390-pound white chocolate gingerbread White House that the Master Chef created for the upcoming party. There is so much to do before the big day arrives!

At last it is time for the gala to begin. Dog waits for his guests to arrive and when they do, many of them bring gifts for Dog. In addition they tell Dog about the traditions that are popular in the country that they come from. For example, the French poodle brings dog a traditional Buche de Noel – a log shaped cake that is traditional at Christmastime in France. She also tells Dog how French “kiddies set their shoes by the Fireplace in hopes that Pere Noel will leave presents in them.” What else is Dog going to learn from his guests?

In this wonderful picture book, the authors give readers a delightfully dog-centric picture of a Christmas gala at the White House. Readers will learn about Christmas traditions from many lands around the world, and they will also come to appreciate that though traditions might be different, the meaning of Christmas is the same the world over, if you are human or canine.