My Senator and Me: A Dog's-Eye View of Washington, D.C.
My Senator and Me: A Dog's-Eye View of Washington, D.C.

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Annotation: A day in the life of Senator Edward M. Kennedy as told through the eyes of his dog, Splash, who accompanies him to the office. Illustrated by Caldecott Medal-Winner David Small.
Genre: Government
Catalog Number: #5597
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2006
Edition Date: 2006
Illustrator: Small, David,
Pages: 56
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-439-65078-X Perma-Bound: 0-605-07352-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-439-65078-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-07352-4
Dewey: 328.73092
LCCN: 2005023518
Dimensions: 31 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
In this high-spirited if low-angled trot through the congressional halls of power, Splash (a Portuguese water dog, for those who dote on such details) follows his senatorial companion (who looks a lot like Senator Kennedy) through a typical day. Interspersed with such highlights as a romp on the Capitol's lawn and a ride on the underground tram that runs between the Capitol and the office building, the day features a press conference, photo ops, a heated conference committee discussion about an education bill, and an important vote. In sketchy watercolor views of, first, the puppy farm, and, later, the Capitol Hill area, Caldecott winner Small tones down his customary caricatures (though not entirely) to match the narrative's light, amiable tone. Capped by a précis of the legislative process, this book is a natural companion for Judith St. George's So You Want to Be President (2000).
Horn Book
Senator Ted Kennedy's dog Splash describes a typical day on Capitol Hill. The book drags at the beginning, as Splash explains how "my Senator" adopted him, and the narration tends toward long-windedness. But it picks up steam by the time it presents a conference committee debating an education bill. The loose-handed art is full of officious blues and browns but also has considerable warmth.
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 1-5-Kennedy's introduction to the political process is clear, informative, and loaded with child appeal, in part due to the choice of narrator: his Portuguese Water Dog, Splash. This canine bundle of friendly, panting fun takes readers on a tour of monuments and then describes a typical day: staff discussion of an education bill, a ride in the underground tram between the Senate and the Capitol, a press conference, a committee meeting, and a floor vote. Children will appreciate Splash's joy at the snacks and time for outdoor catch along the way, as well as the strategic "Woof" when the committee reaches an impasse on the bill. While the swift and tidy resolution is clearly fictional, the actual process is rendered memorable through the presentation. Small's shifting perspectives capture the shimmering lights viewed from a moving tram, the glory of the soaring Capitol rotunda, the heartfelt affection in a beloved dog's eyes. Back matter includes information about Kennedy, Splash, and how a bill becomes a law. With its multicultural cast, nonpartisan viewpoint, and protagonist brimming with personality, this look inside the Beltway is a first choice for classrooms, tourists, and animal lovers everywhere.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Starred Review for Publishers Weekly

Enthusiastically and endearingly narrated by Splash, Senator Kennedy's Portuguese Water Dog, this spry tale features suitably airy, often comical ink-and-watercolor illustrations by Caldecott Medalist Small (So You Want to Be President?). The bright-eyed canine introduces his beloved master, exclaiming, "The wonderful people of Massachusetts have elected and reelected him to the Senate for more years than I can even count!" Text and art strike a wry note as a skeptical Kennedy shakes hands with well-heeled folk at a gala—their toothy smiles clearly phony—as Splash reiterates the adage, "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog." With Small's help, Splash offers a breezy tour of Washington, D.C.'s key monuments and buildings, bragging that he knows the city "like the back of my paw." The pooch then describes highlights of a day in the life of a working dog: riding the underground tram from the Senate office building to the Capitol (Small pictures the pooch with wide-eyed anticipation); posing for a photo with students, barking to silence a group of bickering Senators and Representatives trying to negotiate two versions of an education bill, and expressing displeasure at being barred from the Senate chamber ("I've seen plenty of Senators, and they don't behave any better than I do!"). Biographical sketches of Kennedy and Splash and a succinct explanation of how a bill becomes a law conclude this amusing, informative account, certain to win the votes—and hearts—of dog-loving kids. Ages 4-8. (May)

Word Count: 2,668
Reading Level: 5.1
Interest Level: 1-4
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.1 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 106294 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.2 / points:2.0 / quiz:Q38740
Lexile: AD750L
Guided Reading Level: N
Fountas & Pinnell: N
Ted Kennedy and David Small team up to provide a smart, funny, and affectionate look at life in our nation's capital from the perspective of the senator and his very perceptive dog.

There's an old saying: "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog." Senator Ted Kennedy decided to do just that. His beloved Portuguese Water Dog Champion Amigo's Seventh Wave (nicknamed Splash) is one of the most famous canines on Capitol Hill. Here we follow Senator Kennedy and Splash through a busy day in D.C., from press conferences to meetings with school groups to committee discussions to a floor vote. The result is an exciting, behind-the-scenes look at the life of one of the most energetic figures in American politics -- and, of course, his equally famous owner.

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