I Am Major, First Dog

Silver Dolphin. (Animal Planet All-Star Readers: Bk. 2). Sept. 2021. 32p. lib. ed. $14.99. ISBN 9781645178262; pap. $4.99. ISBN 9781645179351.
K-Gr 2–Major the German Shepherd lives with his “parents” Joe and Jill Biden in the White House. The dog tells his own story, from the care he received in an animal shelter, to the process the Bidens underwent to adopt him, to his life in the most famous residence in the land. He explains that both his parents do important work. But, from his point-of-view, his work is also important: The White House, with its 132 rooms and ample grounds, provides many opportunities for playing fetch and hide-and-seek, chasing squirrels, and digging holes. Major talks about different dog breeds and the characteristics of German Shepherds, though, “I can tell by my nose…there’s a lot of history in my new home,” may be confusing. He also shares that other presidents not only owned dogs, but horses and sheep as well. An engaging cartoon illustration of Major, his jaws open in a smile, ushers readers into his world. Large simple pictures fill each page. Words like “veterinarian,” “toxic,” “foster,” and “breed” appear in bold among the simple sentences and are defined in a glossary at the end.
VERDICT An additional purchase that will interest emerging readers.

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