cover image Carl's Sleepy Afternoon

Carl's Sleepy Afternoon

Alexandra Day, . . FSG, $12.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-374-31088-2

Twenty years after making his debut in Good Dog, Carl , the Rottweiler who has charmed a generation of readers has lost none of his appeal—or his spunk. Here Madeleine's mother tells Carl that she and her daughter are going shopping so he "can have a nice nap." Not likely. When the driver of a thrift-shop van arrives to pick up donated items, Carl helps him load the goods and then jumps into the back of the vehicle, scooting out at a bakery where Madeleine and her mother have stopped. The cherubic tot gleefully spots Carl through the window and surreptitiously feeds him a cookie after he slips inside. The canine hero helps a pharmacist by delivering medicine to a vet, again meets up with Madeleine at a flower stand (where he purloins a bloom and places it in a woman's shopping bag) and rescues puppies from a burning garage. The dog arrives at home, just ahead of his owners. As in past Carl tales, Day injects wry, child-pleasing flourishes: for instance, Carl's appearances go undetected by Madeleine's mother. Playing the key role in relaying the action, Day's stunningly realistic, brightly hued illustrations are as timeless and endearing as the plot. Carl fans young and old will cheer his return as they discover that this anything-but-sleepy canine is aging very well indeed. All ages. (Oct.)