First Dog Fala
Elizabeth Van Steenwyk
Illustrated by Michael G. Montgomery
Peachtree Publishers, 2008
As soon as this came in the mail, I sat down and flipped through it, oohing and aahing over the illustrations. Montgomery definitely spends time around dogs, because I felt like Fala was just about to jump off the page and into my lap! (I'm totally smitten: I want a Scottie!) Since then, I've actually read the book several times - and the whole book is just as delightful as the illustrations.
It's been a little while since I read children's picture books *seriously* (translate: graduate class on children's lit as opposed to picking one up because I find it appealing), and I was at first surprised by the amount of text on the page. Once I started reading and thinking about it though, I realized it wasn't as 'extreme' as my first glance thought. (I was probably subconsciously wishing for less text and more Fala illustrations - he's that adorable). There's a lot of information shared, yes, but it's presented in a way that both "little" and "big" kids will be able to sit down and enjoy. The story is about Fala, and his life as a White House pet, but it also is a gentle introduction to American History. And there's something about Scottie dogs that just feels "Christmassy" to me, making it a fitting book for this season!
Book provided by publisher for review.