Dear Socks, Dear Buddy

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids' Letters to the First Pets
Author Hillary Rodham Clinton
Language English
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Publication date
November 17, 1998
Media type Hardcover
Pages 208
ISBN 0-684-85778-2
Preceded by It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us (1996)
Followed by An Invitation to the White House: At Home with History (2000)

Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids' Letters to the First Pets is a 1998 children's book written by First Lady of the United States Hillary Rodham Clinton. It concerns the two pets that lived in the White House during the Clinton administration: Socks the cat and Buddy the dog. It includes more than 50 letters written to the First Pets by children and more than 80 photographs of Socks and Buddy. Examples of questions posed include "Who do you like best? Mr. Clinton? Mrs. Clinton or Chelsea?" and "How do you like being a dog, Buddy? I like being a person."[1][2] Socks was asked if he was allowed to watch MTV[2] and they were also asked if they ever got petted by the Spice Girls.

It also includes several sections of text by Clinton that discussed the two pets' habits and rivalry and gave a history of previous pets in the White House.[2] The text also dispensed some advice on caring for pets and told parents to encourage children to express themselves through writing.[2]

The idea for the book originated with her publisher, Simon & Schuster, who were interested in a follow-up to Clinton's best-selling 1996 volume It Takes a Village.[1] It also followed in the pawsteps of prior First Lady Barbara Bush's popular 1990 effort Millie's Book, about the prior White House dog.[3] Plans for Dear Socks, Dear Buddy were announced in June 1998[3] and it was stated that Linda Kulman, a reporter based in Washington, would assist Clinton in the writing.[3] Book magazine would subsequently characterize Kulman's role as that of a ghostwriter.[4]

The book had a first printing put at somewhere between 400,000 and 500,000 copies.[2][5] Its actual sales were around 350,000 copies.[6] It did not sell as well as It Takes a Village had, as Clinton did not engage in the same level of promotional activity for it.[6][7] The book came out as the Lewinsky scandal turned into the impeachment of Bill Clinton.[7]

All proceeds from book sales and related publishing rights were donated to the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's National Park Service.[2] The foundation holds the copyright to the book, which simplified tax aspects of the donation compared to what had to be done for It Takes a Village.[8] In connection with the association, the last chapter of the book is titled "A Note on Saving America's Parks and Treasures".


  1. 1.0 1.1 Carvajal, Doreen (June 8, 1998). "Media Talk: The First Pets Get Their Own Book". The New York Times. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Colford, Paul D. (December 6, 1998). "Socking it to Buddy; First lady's pet book is a tail-all account". Chicago Sun-Times – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "First Lady's book deal is animal act". The Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. June 5, 1998. p. A4. 
  4. Temple-Raston, Dina (January 2002). "Master Class: Want to Write a Book? Columbia Prof Sam Freedman Can Show You the Way.". Book – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  5. Streitfeld, David (September 17, 1998). "No Thanks For the Memoirs; Publishers Turn Down Lewinsky Book, But Other Political Page-Turners Do Well". The Washington Post – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Roberts, Roxanne (October 4, 2000). "White House Welcome". The Washington Post. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Colford, Paul D. (February 23, 1999). "With the Trial Over, the Storytelling Begins". The Buffalo News – via HighBeam Research. 
  8. Johnston, David Cay (April 15, 2000). "The Clintons Pay $92,104 In Federal Income Taxes". The New York Times.