There are many wonderful picture books on the market, from classics such as Maurice Sendak’s beloved “Where the Wild Things Are,” to this year’s popular, “Mr. Tiger Goes Wild” by Peter Brown, which was chosen for a place on Publisher Weekly’s list of the best picture books from 2013.
Each of us, hopefully, has a memory of a favorite picture book, something important from our childhoods, or our children’s childhoods, that has left a mark on our spirits. For me, one such book is “Carl’s Afternoon in the Park,” written and illustrated by Alexandra Day. The book focuses on a Rottweiler, named Carl, who is caring for a toddler and a puppy in Central Park.
Now, it may be that I am a tad bit biased about this beautifully rendered picture book. After all, Carl is almost identical to my sweet old Rottweiler, Bear, who is my toddler’s self-appointed protector/watcher/big brother. Or I may be biased because I love a good story, however it is told, and the pictures show a day in the life without many words to muck it up. Either way, the few sentences in this book explain to us how Carl comes to be charged with the two playful little ones, while the soft watercolors bring to life the day, as well as our imaginations. The book can grow with your family from your child’s infancy, when the pictures will be pretty colors and interesting distractions, on through toddlerhood and beyond, allowing pictures to gain names, short descriptions, and eventually evolve into a full blown story as your child learns and their imaginations take flight.
If you are looking for a delightful book to grab imaginations and incite conversation with your child, I recommend Alexandra Day’s “Carl’s Afternoon in the Park.”
May your imaginations soar, and may you have a Blessed Day!