Carl's Birthday

Carl's Birthday

5.0 2
by Alexandra Day

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Happy birthday, Carl! But can Mom surprise him? No way. As hard as Mom tries, Madeleine and her canine babysitter extraordinaire are hot on her trail, tasting the party punch, peeking at presents, and adding some of their own favorite decorations.


Happy birthday, Carl! But can Mom surprise him? No way. As hard as Mom tries, Madeleine and her canine babysitter extraordinaire are hot on her trail, tasting the party punch, peeking at presents, and adding some of their own favorite decorations.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Another winner.” —School Library Journal
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-This nearly wordless picture book continues the fantasy of the renowned Rottweiler and his wee ward. The lovable dog and his toddler mistress sneak back home from a neighbor's house, where Madeleine's mother is preparing a birthday party for Carl. From hidden vantage points they check on or assist with preparations for the festivities. The clandestine pair escape to their rightful place, taking a nap together just in time to put on party attire and return home to be greeted by guests yelling ``Surprise!'' Party scenes contrast brightly with everyday life in another winner for Carl's fans.-Marsha McGrath, Clearwater Public Library, FL
Ellen Mandel
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.

Product Details

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
Carl Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.51(w) x 6.01(h) x 0.71(d)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

Alexandra Day is the pseudonym for Sandra Louise Woodward Darling. She is the author of Good Dog, Carl and the rest of the beloved Carl books, including Carl Goes Shopping, Carl's Christmas, and Carl's Snowy Afternoon. Darling was born in 1941 in Cincinnati, Ohio, to a large and close-knit family. Painting was a popular family recreation, and almost every family excursion included one or more easels and a variety of sketch pads, chalks, paints, and pencils. For four years, the family lived on a hundred-acre farm in Kentucky. Here young Sandra grew especially fond of riding and training horses, and became a dog owner for the first time. Living in the country also provided plenty of time for reading, a life-long passion.

Sandra illustrated her first book in 1983: The Teddy Bears' Picnic, a popular children's song by Jimmy Kennedy. That same year, she was visiting Zurich, Switzerland, when she came across a volume of old German picture sheets, one of which featured a poodle playing with a baby who was supposed to be taking a nap. This image proved the inspiration for Good Dog, Carl. The Darlings' own dog, a Rottweiler named Toby, was the model for the book's main character. Since then, two other Darling Rottweilers have posed as Carl in the seven sequels: the late Arambarri, who was named for one of the Darlings' favorite jai alai players; and Zabala, who currently moonlights as an Our Best Friend therapy dog, visiting hospitals to cheer patients.

About her work Sandra says: "I think that one of the reasons my illustrations have appealed to people is that they can sense my sincerity. I know that marvels exist which are just outside our ordinary experience, but that at any moment we may turn a corner and encounter one of them. Children also believe this, and because they and I have this conviction in common, we, as creator and audience, make good partners." Sandra lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband, Harold.

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Carl's Birthday 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the dog. I have one just like Carl
Guest More than 1 year ago
Carl and Madeleine are yet in another fun-filled adventure. They are curious about the supposed to be surprise party and decide to sneak in and spy as Mom gets ready for the party. Carl and Madeleine again get into dilemas that only they can solve. In the end like always Carl is rewarded for being a good dog.