Follow Carl!

Common Sense Media says

Wordless story will delight children & dog lovers.





What parents need to know

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.

Not applicable

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?


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. This playful romp is one children will want to look at again and again.

Families can talk 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

Author:Alexandra Day
Illustrator:Alexandra Day
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:January 1, 1998
Number of pages:28

This review of Follow Carl! was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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