Carl's Summer Vacation

Overview

Carl and Madeleine are supposed to be napping while Mom and Dad get the summer cabin ready for company, but this lovable canine and his charge have better things to do. They escape from the hammock to do some canoeing, pick blackberries, and enjoy a picnic. Carl even plays a little baseball! That night, Mom and Dad wonder why the two are so tired – little do they know that Carl and Madeleine have been busy exploring all that a summer vacation on the lake has to offer.

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Overview

Carl and Madeleine are supposed to be napping while Mom and Dad get the summer cabin ready for company, but this lovable canine and his charge have better things to do. They escape from the hammock to do some canoeing, pick blackberries, and enjoy a picnic. Carl even plays a little baseball! That night, Mom and Dad wonder why the two are so tired – little do they know that Carl and Madeleine have been busy exploring all that a summer vacation on the lake has to offer.

Told mainly through Alexandra Day’s gorgeous oil paintings, this summertime romp will make readers long to bring Carl along on their own vacations!

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Carl . . . shows no signs of aging in the 11th book in a series that has 3 million copies in print. . . . It’s vintage Alexandra Day: a few words of text driven by rich, expressive watercolors.” — USA TODAY

“Young Madeleine and her loyal pup, Carl, are up to their same tricks in this charming addition to a whimsical series. . . . A strong, solid addition.” — School Library Journal

“Carl the protective Rottweiler and Madeleine the charming toddler return for another playful adventure in this popular series. . . . Day's paintings are as charming as ever, particularly in the joyful scenes of Madeleine riding on Carl's back.” —Kirkus Reviews

“The text is minimal and rightly so, as Day knows just how to make a story move through pictures alone.” —Horn Book

“The painting's dreamlike quality captures the lazy summer day feel. Fans of Carl will delight in this summertime romp.” —BookLoons

“The attraction, as always, is the evocative watercolor art, coupled here with the fantasy of having secret fun.” Booklist

Children's Literature - Carly Reagan
Carl, the rambunctious Rottweiler, who is featured in each book of the "Carl" series, is back in doggy action, exploring the sunny outdoors with his favorite playmate, Madeline, the young daughter of his owners. Very little text is featured throughout the book, placing the focus primarily on the beautiful watercolor illustrations that tell the story in a whimsical, old-fashioned way, which makes the reader wistful for childhood summers. Carl and his human buddy Madeline spend their day paddling in a canoe, swimming in the lake, blackberry picking, playing on the playground, and joining in a game of sandlot baseball before returning home, too tired to even watch the nighttime fireworks. Though leaving a young child in the care of a hundred pound Rottweiler is not my idea of model parental care, Carl does a good job of keeping Madeline safe. Each brightly colored illustration captures the expression of both child and dog, from dawn's excitement to dusk's exhaustion. The pictures have many details that can be discussed, enhancing the interaction between child and reader, which makes this book a joy for all ages. Reviewer: Carly Reagan
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2- Young Madeleine and her loyal pup, Carl, are up to their same tricks in this charming addition to a whimsical series. Mom and Dad are busy preparing the summer cabin for company later in the evening, and they leave the pair in a hammock on the back porch. Immediately upon hearing Mom say, "You two have a good nap so you'll be ready to go see the fireworks tonight," Carl and his devoted sidekick decide to go exploring. It is here that the text stops, for the most part. Richly detailed and beautifully hued illustrations depict the duo's adventures: a canoe ride that includes a stop by a flowering lily pad; a romp through wild blackberry bushes where they come upon a highly protective mama skunk; a stop at the playground where Carl joins a baseball game, and more. They return to the hammock just in time to be "awakened" by Mom. Madeleine falls asleep in her father's arms during the vibrantly depicted fireworks show, leaving her parents to wonder why she was so tired after having had such a long nap. A strong, solid addition.-Lisa Gangemi Kropp, Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY

Kirkus Reviews
Carl the protective Rottweiler and Madeleine the charming toddler return for another playful adventure in this popular series. The very brief text explains that the family is arriving at their lakeside cabin to prepare for a picnic dinner and to take in a fireworks display with friends. Madeleine and Carl should settle down for a nap, but they take off on another independent escapade, away from any watchful parents. The daring duo begin by canoeing together on the lake, an activity that may give safety-conscious parents pause, especially when the canoe tips over. (Responsible Carl made sure Madeleine was wearing her life jacket and even tightened the strap for her.) They move on to a full afternoon of play at the park and beach, returning home in time for dinner but too tired to stay awake for the fireworks. Day's paintings are as charming as ever, particularly in the joyful scenes of Madeleine riding on Carl's back, but one must wonder when Carl will be ready to retire. (Picture book. 3-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374310851
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 5/27/2008
  • Series: Carl Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 139,640
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 10.58 (h) x 0.39 (d)

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, Carl’s Birthday 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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