Carl and the Meaning of Life by Deborah Freedman

Published by Viking Books for Young Readers

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Summary:  Carl is a busy earthworm, going about his wormy activities of eating, digesting, and pooping, when a field mouse asks him, “Why do you do that?”  The question stops Carl cold, and he goes off in search of an answer. He asks different animals, but no one can help him. In the meantime, the soil is getting hard and barren.  When the other animals start to leave in search of new homes, Carl realizes he has a job to do. He gets back to work, and soon the soil is fluffy once again, and the land has become habitable for animals to return.  Includes a brief author’s note about the important job of each animal, and ends with a question for the reader, “How do you help the earth?”  48 pages; ages 3-7.

Pros:  Carl is a cute, loveable protagonist–and it’s not often I say that about an annelid–who has important messages for young readers about taking care of the earth and being the best you can at what you do.

Cons:  A list of books and websites for further reading would have been a nice addition.

If you would like to buy this book on Amazon, click here.

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