5 Minutes for Books:
From the White House to Your House

by CarrieB

In some ways it feels like a large percentage of the population in America is starting to catch on to the fact that we can’t keep eating at McDonald’s and expect to live long and healthy lives. More people are aware of making good food choices and their motivation comes in a thousand forms. Some (like myself) are intrigued by modern day reality shows where severely obese people are being screamed at by thin and fit trainers. (Heh.) Others merely need take a glance at the latest Hollywood images of stick thin (and not very healthy) people.

Then there is the current first lady in the White House who decided to take initiative and replant the White House garden. (You know, right, that she didn’t actually prepare the land herself? But she did take the initiative.) I picked up a copy of A White House Garden Cookbook: Healthy Ideas from the First Family to Your Family at the Book Expo in the Red Rock Press booth. I wasn’t sure what to make of the book from the cover. I’m not generally a fan of the side of politics that is currently being represented in the White House, so I had my fair share of hesitations, but I was curious about the book given the state of our health in America.

I ended up being really surprised by this book and have enjoyed it a lot! First of all, it gives a history of gardens at the White House. (Do you know which president had the first garden planted?) It is also a really cool book in that it provides recipes from past presidential kitchens. Interested in making James Monroe’s White House Gumbo? Thomas Jefferson’s Pea Soup? Or perhaps just the White House recipe for apple pie? I don’t think you can get much more American than that!

A White House Garden Cookbook also includes tips on how to be a healthier eater and includes recipes from community gardens from across America. I found this book to be quite a fascinating and interesting take and think it’s kinda fun to eat local, but to put together recipes that Presidents have eaten. I think this book has a pretty neat concept attached to it.

Now, we can’t really talk about any particular subject around here without involving Sleeping Bear Press in some form or fashion, can we now? For our White House theme of the day, I also picked up a copy of First Dog at the Book Expo, shaking hands with the lovely lady who keeps my family well-supplied with Sleeping Bear Press titles.

This book also has an interesting history all of its own. It was in production before the Obamas announced that they would be adding a canine friend to their family, and it just so happened to work out that the story of Bo Obama could be incorporated into this book at, quite literally, the eleventh hour.

First Dog tells the story of a dog who is looking for a home. He travels all over the world and observes different dogs and various countries and finds out how dogs all over the world are viewed by humans. This book is a great comparison study of how dogs fare and why they make such great friends for people. Of course, at the end of this particular story, this fluffy little dog finds himself in front of a large white house. You can guess at how it ends.

If you’d like to learn more about this particular book, check out the First Dog website.

Now, would you like to win a copy of these two books? Two of you will have the opportunity to win each of these books. In order to win, simply leave a comment below. This contest is (somewhat fitting in this case!) open to U.S. Residents only.

We’ll announce the winners in our July 5 column.

Big thank yous go to Red Rock Press and Sleeping Bear Press for their generosity in offering copies to our readerships here.

The winners of the Klutz Glossy Bands book (that my daughter is still enjoying immensely) are
#2 Mom24@4evermom, #5 Debbie F., #25 Joanne Vanderheite.

Carrie enjoys books, food, and grown-up dogs at a distance. (Puppies, on the other hand, are always welcome up close and personal!) You can find her inside, avoiding gardens but willing to ‘shop local’, over on her own book blog, Reading to Know.

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 blueviolet June 21, 2010 at 6:41 am

Thank you for the chance to win the books!


2 Julie June 21, 2010 at 9:57 am

This is great! Thanks for the opportunity to win the books!


3 Alison S. June 21, 2010 at 10:58 am

sign me up! I love anything White House related. :-)


4 Casey June 21, 2010 at 3:13 pm

This would be fabulous. My 3 year old liked the segment about fresh veggies by Mrs. Obama on Sesame Street. We have veggie garden too.


5 Marj M. June 21, 2010 at 3:38 pm

I have a side obsession collecting cookbooks. This looks like a good one to have. I would love to read the First Dog to my great granddaughter.


6 Stacie June 21, 2010 at 7:45 pm

I love cookbooks and this looks like a good one!


7 Jen B. June 21, 2010 at 8:44 pm

I am a newbie vegetarian and have just started getting my vegetables. I’d love to see some recipes from past presidents!


8 stacy June 21, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Would love a chance to win one of these books!


9 Tammy June 22, 2010 at 5:08 am

Would love to win these books!


10 Susan June 22, 2010 at 6:30 am

You know, I was feeling that same “iffy” way about the gardening book – but after your description, I agree that it sounds great. I’d love to read it.
Also, my middle daughter is absolutely nuts about dogs, and I know she would just devour the dog book :)
Thanks for a fun giveaway!


11 Linda Kish June 22, 2010 at 8:35 am

I’d love to have a copy of these books. Thanks for the chance.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com


12 Steph June 22, 2010 at 9:48 am

Both books look great. I love the cover illustration on First Dog!


13 katklaw777 June 22, 2010 at 10:21 am

Two good books, great giveaway. count me in and thanks!


14 nan lara June 22, 2010 at 3:35 pm

thanks for the chance, i’d love them
nannypanpan at sbcglobal.net


15 Hailey June 22, 2010 at 11:25 pm

I would LOVE to win these books! Love it!


16 LaVonne June 22, 2010 at 11:34 pm

I’d love to win this book. :) Thanks for the chance.


17 Brenda June 22, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Would love to get a cookbook! Would share the book with a great Niece!


18 Wendy June 23, 2010 at 3:46 am

Great theme for the book giveaway!


19 Agatha June 23, 2010 at 1:22 pm

I’d love to win the gardening book for my mom who’s an avid gardener and the First Dog book for my son! Thanks for the opportunity!


20 riTa June 23, 2010 at 7:55 pm

What fun books!
Thank you to all involved for this giveaway.


21 Staci A June 23, 2010 at 8:57 pm

They sound like wonderful books. We are always looking for healthy recipes! Thanks for the chance to enter!


22 Lynn F June 24, 2010 at 12:26 pm

I’d love to win these books!!


23 Tiffany June 25, 2010 at 7:01 pm

I’d love to win these books!! :)


24 Kathryn June 26, 2010 at 1:43 am

I love using books like First Dog to teach my kindergarteners with ~ a chance to win it would be super! Given my current feelings towards the political climate in our country, I would have passed on the cookbook, but thankfully there are people like you who take the time to look beyond the cover!


25 Krista June 28, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Hmmm, I wonder if that cookbook would help me cook better??? ;) Also, we love kids books!


26 From Diapers To Dorms June 28, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Our foster kiddos would love these books. Thanks for the chance to win them for the kids.


27 Tomi June 28, 2010 at 2:49 pm

With farmer’s markets opening everywhere, what a great way to get some fab recipes for all this fresh summer produce.


28 Tammy Gordon June 28, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Would love to win this!


29 T.J. June 29, 2010 at 8:07 pm

I’d love to win these books, though the story of the 1st Dog sounds fictionalized. I’m pretty sure the real First Dog – Bo – never travelled the world before he was adopted by the Obama family. I think he came from a breeder, though he did live with some other family for a brief period.


30 Jen N July 2, 2010 at 12:57 pm

I enjoy reading new cookbooks and trying new recipes. This one looks interesting for me and my kids. My daughter would love the First Dog book- how cute!


31 Katrina July 2, 2010 at 2:14 pm

I would love to win these for my daughter.


32 Page Turner / Heather July 2, 2010 at 10:20 pm

I love reading cookbooks, especially ones with some history! This sounds like a fun giveaway for the 4th of July, and I’d love to be entered!


33 Mozi Esmes Mom July 4, 2010 at 9:27 am

Would absolutely love to win!

Janemaritz at yahoo dot com


34 Beth C July 4, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Please enter me. Thanks!


35 Dena July 7, 2010 at 3:12 pm

I would LOVE to win these books.
Thanks for the chance!


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