Thursday, January 28, 2010

Children's Book Review: Carl's Snowy Afternoon

Posted by Simcha 6:47 AM, under | 3 comments

I've never written a review of a children's book before but since these are pretty much the only books I'm getting to read lately (due to my very demanding two year old), I figured I might as well start writing about some of them.

Whenever my in-law visit us from America, they bring with them suitcases full of children's books, helping us restock our bookshelves (well-loved books don't last long around here). On their recent visit their suitcases included a copy of
Carl's Snowy Afternoon, Alexandra Day's most recent Carl the dog book.

Carl's Snowy Afternoon, Carl and the little girl (whose name is Madeleine, though this is never mentioned in the book) are left at home with the babysitter while the mother and father go to a party by the frozen pond. As soon as the parents leave and the babysitter is ensconced in front of the TV, Carl assists Madeleine in donning her boots, coat, scarf and gloves, and they sneak out the door for some fun in the snow.

First Carl and Madeleine join a group of children building snowmen (and snow-dogs) and then they go sledding, after which they try skating on the frozen pond. But Carl soon spots Madeleine's parent, and so they switch directions and head over to the hot dog stand where they each manage to snatch for themselves a snack. After assisting a rabbit in claiming the carrot nose of the snowman, Madeline and Carl head back home where they divest Madeleine of her wrappings just as her mother gets home, promising to take Madeleine outside tomorrow to play in the snow.

As usual, Day manages to vividly tell an amusing and engaging story through her enchanting drawings. While
the escapades in Snowy Day were not quite as humorous as those in previous books in the series, the pictures really bring to life the wonder and delight of a snowy evening through the eyes of a child. I particularly love the picture of Madeline and Carl standing with their mouths open, catching snowflakes. There was also a bit more dialogue in this book then in the others I read, due to the fact that Madeline is now older and can converse with Carl.

My two-year old loves this book and brings it to me over and over again to be read, which I don't mind since there aren't too many words so we just discuss the pictures. My older children (aged 5,6 and 8) were briefly interested in the book since they have never seen snow before, but in general they seem to prefer Day's more humorous Carl books.


Ohmygod, I LOVE Carl! He was SO my favorite when I was little!

I have not read these books. But this was a FFC for you one week, right? This dog seems like an amazing character. We have a rott. here and she is just so loving. I remember when my son thought he could ride her like in the picture. lol. Poor kid just didn't understand he could hurt her. Oh well, thanks for sharing this wonderful book! I just might have to go buy it for my friends with the little little ones for as they grow.

Melissa: Yeah, I've been reading quite a lot of the Carl books lately so he'll be turning up occasionally on the blog. These are really great books, though I heard that there has been some trouble with children trying to imitate the antics that take place in the books, such as kids trying to ride their dogs. But as long is it doesn't lead the parent's to think that dogs can actually serve as babysitter, I don't think too much harm can come from it.

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