Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Carl’s Sleepy Afternoon

Carl’s Sleepy Afternoon

Alexandra Day
Picture Book  Series
For ages 4 to 7
Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2005   ISBN: 978-0374310882

Madeleine and Mother are going out to do some errands and to get a new dress for Madeleine. Mother tells Carl that he can have "a nice nap?" while they are gone but as soon as Mother and the little girl are gone Carl's very busy afternoon begins. He starts by helping the man from St. Mary's load up his truck and then he hitches a lift into town where he sees Madeleine and Mother in the bakery. Madeleine sees her much loved black and brown canine friend but mother does not.

Carl does all kinds of things as the afternoon wears on. He runs errands for and helps his friends, does a little lifesaving, makes new friends, and often sees Madeleine as the little girl goes from store to store with Mother.

Dog lovers of all ages will delight to see Carl's secret life. Minimal text and highly detailed vivid full page illustrations carry the reader through the afternoon as Carl walks along the street, plays in the park, and best of all, keeps himself hidden from Mother, who comes home thinking that Carl has had a "nice sleepy afternoon." Of course we and Madeleine know otherwise don't we? Sprinkled with humor and warmed by Carl's gentle and intelligent personality, this is a picture book to look at again and again.