Carl's Birthday by Alexandra Day: The Gentle Rottweiler

Carl's Birthday


Carl's Birthday by Alexandra Day is on the list of my Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge. So, my grandson and I sat a spell to begin a look at this cute board book. We sat and talked a bit, discussing each page in a very fun way. I think all of the mommies can relate to this theme of preparing for their child's birthday party and then the unfolding of descriptive events that transpire with the prep of a party to the little-unexpected things that come up that take creative solutions to solve.

Here's some information about the book.

Product Details

From Booklist

Ages 2-7. Beloved from many previous escapades, Carl, the gentle rottweiler, and Madeline, the mischievous toddler, are sent to nap at the neighbors' while Mom prepares for the surprise birthday party. But the two buddies sneak back home through Carl's doggie door and watch undetected as Mom tidies and decorates the house. Of course, Carl and Madeline must add their own touches to the preparations, flavoring the punch, hiding and even undoing the carefully wrapped presents, and sampling the beautiful birthday cake, though Carl thoughtfully camouflages the gouge Madeline's hand makes in the frosting. As the guests arrive, Carl, with Madeline riding him bareback, gallops back to the neighbors' house, where the pair are found stretched out side by side, feigning sleep. Characteristically, Day uses brief text only at the beginning and at the end of the story, allowing her luxuriantly colored, expressively detailed paintings to convey the humor and joyful companionship of Carl and Madeline's latest adventure. Ellen Mandel

two Rottweiler dogs
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bethlovesbooks posted an excellent review:

"All of the Carl books are thoughtful and creative, though this one is my favorite so far. I love making up the words for each of the books. The format definitely encourages analysis and discussion in a fun way. Little ones must look carefully and closely at each picture and think about how they choose to interpret the events. This book would make a timely birthday gift as well. The basic premise is that "Mom" sends Carl and the baby girl (now a toddler) next door for their naps so that she can prepare for Carl's surprise birthday party. Of course, mischievous Carl and the baby sneak back and get into everything before the party.
This story is full of sweet little details (Carl receives a toy sized Rottweiler which they can't seem to get rewrapped quite right. Carl takes a bite out the cake and disguises it with a carefully placed flower. Somehow, all the toys that Mom picked up end up back out and under the party table....what Mom can't relate to that one!)
But most of all, I appreciate the free-spirited theme that underpins these books. For me, they are a reminder that all of the details that seem so critical are really just a means to a bigger end. In the end, it's the spirit and joy of childhood that is important, a spirit that Carl and that little girl epitomize without saying a single word."

rottweiler puppy
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5 stars! By the way, I love this Carl book and kids do, too ... especially the ending. The illustrations are gorgeous. Do you have a Carl collection in your library? I think it's a wonderful way to introduce children to the love of animals and pets. A long time ago, our family raised purebred Australian puppies. They are very intelligent and beautiful dogs. I love reading books about animals; how about you?

~ LadyD 

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis



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