June 30, 2006

DT Bizarre Book Contest: Good Dog, Carl [Yep, Again]

good_dog_carl.gifTitle:Good Dog, Carl
Author/Illustrator: Alexandra Day
Reviewed by: Timothy

[ed. note: What're the odds? Two reviews of the same book within 30 minutes of each other. So yes, if someone's already reviewed your bizarre book, but you have something else/different to say about it, send it on in. After all, there are prizes hanging in the balance.]

I first stumbled on this while flipping through board books with my infant son at the book store and later found that our daycare center also had a copy. It appears popular with the kids on Amazon, but I can't be the only one who finds the entire premise a little freaky.

The trouble begins with the first page, which depicts an overcoat- clad woman pulling on gloves, purse in hand. In the background an infant surveys the scene blankly, perhaps resigned to the fact that her mom has more important things to do than entertain her. In her stead? A Rottweiler, to whom she exhorts, "Look after the baby, Carl. I'll be back shortly."

Now, don't get me wrong. I've got nothing against Carl, or even muscular, strong-jawed dogs in general. In fact, I own a pit bull, and have seen my son plop face down in her bed and tug her ears enough times to know that some dogs get along great with kids, no matter what the breed.

Yes, Carl is a good dog, and, for a caregiver without opposable thumbs, does manage to keep this poor baby alive. And it's a wonder how, for all the horrors depicted: bouncing on beds, playing with toxic cosmetics, floating face-down in the aquarium, eating god-knows-what from the fridge and, worst of all, a little tumble down the laundry chute!

Most frightening of all, however, is mommy dearest's nonchalant attitude on abandoning her child. Where is she going that's so important? For milk? Cigarettes? Turning tricks on the corner? I am disgusted.

And jealous. What I wouldn't give to pay for childcare in kibble. What? It's not like we have an aquarium or a laundry chute.


Dang. This is sitting on my desk, waiting for my next work break so that I can type a review for the contest. If only my lab-mix would watch the kids for a few minutes...

I just gave this book to a friend as baby shower gift last week...and caused a bit of an uproar that I wasn't expecting. But thankfully, a GOOD uproar...it's a nice "What-Not-To-Do-With-Your-Baby-Book." I was shocked that more people had not heard of Carl and his adventures in babysitting. The book got a lot of laughs and was a lovely ice breaker.

"Carl" has gorgeous illustrations and with no words at all (except for the first and last pages)conveys so much. Simply put...the book is a CLASSIC.

I found this blog today and was amazed at the information. I own a children's clothing store on Hilton Head Island, SC. My wife and I have owned it for over 20 years and have constantly tried to fill the store with the best of the best. I noticed in another post, information about a new stroller and will certainly be investigating it for the store. I scrolled down the various topics and was glad to see the reviews of "Good Dog, Carl" As the father or seven, I have "read" this book so many times to each of my children. I used to sell the book at a toy store we owned; but, haven't had it in stock at my store. I think I will try to find it to put in inventory. I love the book. Thanks for the great blog!

Well it's not a kids book, but 'The Sweet Smell of ASH in the Morning' is bizarre!

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