Carl and the Meaning of Life – Deborah Freedman

   Carl and the Meaning of Life – Deborah Freedman, Viking, (9780451474988), 2019

Format:  Hardcover

Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre:  Picture Book

What did you like about the book?  Carl is an earthworm and spends his days “ …underground, moving, always moving, burrowing, tunneling, digesting dead leaves, feasting and casting, turning hard dirt into fluffy soil, day after day…” One day a mouse asks Carl “Why do you do that?”  Since he has no answer, Carl sets off to find out why. He meets lots of other animals who can only tell Carl why they do what they do: the rabbit for her babies, the fox for the hunt, the squirrel to plant trees and so on.  No one can tell Carl why he does what he does. As Carl continues searching for the answer, the animals notice that the soil is turning barren and dry and move away. Carl realizes that the soil is hard instead of soft and fluffy so he once again tunnels below ground.  After months of work the soil begi to sprout new life and the animals all return. The gorgeous illustrations of pencil, watercolor and bits of colored pencil bring this ecological story to vivid life. This is a wonderful introduction to ecology and the interconnectedness of all living creatures.   

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  This is the perfect book to add to a story time about spring or Earth Day.

Who should buy this book?  Public Libraries and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it? Picture Books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles?  No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Date of review: 4/22/19          


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