Follow Carl!

Book review by
Ann Marie Sammataro, Common Sense Media
Follow Carl! Book Poster Image
Wordless story will delight children & dog lovers.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

The toddler rides Carl like a horse in a few scenes. Parents may want to discourage young children from attempting to do this with a real dog.

Violence & Scariness

Carl lifts a toddler puppy style, by the neck of her dress. This may alarm younger readers unfamiliar with dog behavior.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that glorious artwork becomes the text of this imaginative pictorial tale. Filled with myriad details, the beguiling illustrations encourage long perusals.

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What's the story?

Carl, the famous rottweiler from Alexandra Day's popular stories, returns to play a game of follow the leader with his toddler companion and the neighborhood children. The twist is that Carl is the leader. Children and dog lovers will enjoy this wordless story told through Day's delightful illustrations.


Is it any good?

This playful romp is one children will want to look at again and again. Like a loving nanny, Carl plays with the neighborhood children, yet he is ever mindful of his little ward, solicitously caring for her. The illustrations resonate with the exuberance of doghood and childhood, capturing the uninhibited, joyful enthusiasm that is unique to both. Day uses a broad palette of colors that reflect the splendor of a sun-filled day.

Individual story time allows readers to spend long periods perusing the pages and inventively making up their own story lines based on the pictures. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about each picture and how it conveys the story. Which picture is your favorite? What do you think is happening in that picture?

Book details

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