Christmas is only two days away, and children all over the world are doing their best to stay in Father Christmas' good graces. For ten years now, my daughter and I have shared a tradition. We read a Christmas/seasonal title every day from the 1st to the 24th of December. One of Elise's favorite holiday books is the one I have reviewed below.
Picture Book (Series)
For ages 4 to 7
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1990, 978-0374311148
It is Christmas Eve, and Carl’s owners are going out for the evening. Before they leave the house, they tell Carl the dog to “Take good care of the baby, Carl.” Carl is a very honorable dog, so he goes upstairs to get the baby, and then the two friends set about celebrating the season together.
First Carl and the baby decorate a potted plant with wrapping paper, ribbons, and other items that they find. Carl helps the baby put on a warm little suit and hat, and then they go outside to explore.
In town, they win a beautiful Christmas basket when they are the 1,000th customer at the toy store. Knowing that this is the season to give, the baby and Carl give the basket to a street corner Santa who is collecting for “the Needy.”
The friends listen to some carolers sing, and then they head home. After all, soon they are going to have a very special visitor.
Though there are very few words in this book, Alexandra Day manages to capture the essence of Christmas with her wonderful Carl the dog title. Young children will be delighted to see that Carl and the baby’s late night visitor has gifts for everyone, including a duo of mice who come to warm themselves in front of the crackling fire.