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Carl's Birthday    by Alexandra Day order for
Carl's Birthday
by Alexandra Day
Order:  USA  Can
Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1997 (1997)

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Carl's Birthday is one of a series of books - Carl Goes Shopping, Carl's Christmas amongst others - which tell stories of toddler Madeleine and her dog Carl. There isn't much text to these tales but the gorgeous and detailed pictures are perfect for asking and answering questions to develop the story ... Why is Madeleine hiding the dog shampoo? What's Carl doing with the flower and the cake?

For Madeleine and Carl always have their own excursions, hidden from adults. When Madeleine's mom takes them to a neighbour's for a nap while she prepares for the 'P-A-R-T-Y', it only arouses their curiosity, and they have a great (and messy) time exploring all the birthday preparations. But they don't disillusion the mom when she happily tells Carl at the end of the celebration 'I guess we really fooled you this time.'

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