The favorite original story about Carl the responsible rottweiler is presented in a sturdy board book edition and follows the adventures shared by the babysitting dog and his infant mistress.
Which brings me to this fictional picture story for infants and toddlers, first published in 1985. The mother left Carl, a Rottweiler, to look after her baby while she went out. The obvious impossibility of this situation is precisely what renders the story so delightful to most kids.
The baby played on her mother's vanity table, messing with the powder. She took a swim in the goldfish tank, got into the refrigerator and dumped food and milk on the kitchen floor (which Carl tracked about), slid down the laundry shoot and took a bath. Every child must learn to clean up, and Carl set a fine example.
Carl's success prompted the author to create an entire Carl series. In each vignette, the mother asked Carl to look after her baby, and together the baby and dog always got into new mischief.
Pure fun accounts for the wild success of this book and series. Evidently, most parents realize that laughing with children over books can teach them many things, including the early ability to distinguish fact from fiction--and that using words like "silly" and "trouble" can make this understandable even to babies under one year. Alyssa A. Lappen
Having said that, I must also say that although this is one of my favorite books, it's still been a flop with my 14 month old. I anticipate that sometime soon she will start to enjoy it, but up to this point she has not been interested. I think there are probably a couple of reasons for this. First, the pictures are not colorful enough to grab the attention of a baby, though the dog-and-baby subject is likely to be more attractive to her within the next few months. Secondly, the drawings are pretty detailed - with this book you want to spend a few moments on each page. For a patient toddler that would probably be fine. Mine prefers to be "in charge" of reading and flip through the pages herself, and unless something grabs her attention she flips through the pages quickly and tosses the book.
I hate to discourage anyone from buying this book because I love it so much. I guess my bottom line on this book would be this: you and your child will probably eventually both love this book, and if you are looking at the long haul it's a great investment because it's a great book. If you are buying for a very young child, though (under about 15 mos) and are on a limited budget, you might do better to buy a couple of very colorful books now and then buy this one a little later.
We've read this enough times that I don't even bother reading the few words that show up. My daughter paraphrases these sentences.