cover image Carl's Afternoon in the Park

Carl's Afternoon in the Park

Alexandra Day. Farrar Straus Giroux, $13.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-374-31109-4

Move over, Mary Poppins, and make room for Carl, the ravishing rottweiler cum babysitter who makes his fourth and perhaps finest appearance yet in this gorgeously colored picture book. As with the other Carl books, these adventures are virtually wordless. When a mother meets a friend in the park, she leaves Carl in charge of her baby and the newest addition to the series, a rottweiler puppy. Carl fans know what happens next: the baby scrambles aboard Carl's back and the romp begins. Here, however, the illustrations are more dynamic and the goings-on even more beguiling than in previous outings, making wonderful use of the park setting. Carl poses like a pony on the merry-go-round; the trio rides a tiny train into a children's zoo, where the puppy incurs a ewe's maternal wrath; while the puppy wreaks more havoc, Carl and the baby model for afternoon painters, each of whom styles his canvas after a famous artist. There's lagniappe too, for gifted puzzle enthusiasts--about 20 pictures of dogs have been hidden in the illustrations. And for the softhearted, a portion of the proceeds benefits the American Humane Association. All ages. (Oct.)