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CORPORATE - Penguin Random House

Carl and the Meaning of Life
By (author): Deborah Freedman
9780451474988 Hardcover English Juvenile: Age (years) from 3 - 5, Grade (US) to K JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories Apr 02, 2019
$23.99 CAD
Active 9.44 x 11.81 x 0.41 in 48 pages Viking Children's Books Viking Books for Young Readers
From the often Caldecott-buzzed Deborah Freedman, a sweet and funny story about finding your place in the world.

Carl is an earthworm. He spends his days happily tunneling in the soil until a field mouse asks him a simple question that stops him short: “Why?” Carl’s quest takes him on an adventure to meet all the animals of the forest, each of whom seems to know exactly what they were put on this earth to do, unlike the curious Carl. But it’s not until the world around him has changed that Carl begins to realize everyone, no matter how small, makes a big difference just by being themselves.

ENVIRONMENTAL MESSAGE—Deborah wanted to tell a story about how everyone’s actions affect the planet, and she found a totally non-preachy, whimsically funny way to do it.

STAR AND STARRED AUTHOR—The books of Deborah Freedman consistently receive starred and rave reviews, get licensed for publication abroad, and are adopted in classrooms all over the country.

TEACHER FAVORITE—Teachers love Deborah Freedman’s books (just look at her Twitter feed), and the influential Nerdy Book Club is basically obsessed with her.

SIGNATURE ART STYLE—Deborah’s art displays a combination of simplicity and complexity that is a feast for the eye.

BUT DON’T TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT—Here’s what blogger and author Betsy Bird has said about Deborah Freedman: “Freedman knows how to write a picture book that’s bound to get kids and their parental units reading and rereading over and over and over again.”

Deborah Freedman ( is a trained architect who now works as an author/illustrator. She is the author of This House, Once, Shy, By Mouse and Frog, The Story of Fish and Snail, Blue Chicken, and Scribble.

Author Residence: New Haven, CT

Marketing: Trade advertising

Online and social media promotion

Feature at all School & Library conferences

Praise for Carl and the Meaning of Life:

★ “Her simple storytelling is supported by fabulous illustrations…will help youngsters understand the wonder and interconnectedness of nature.”—Booklist, starred review

★ “A must-have in all collections!”—School Library Connection, starred review

“A pleasant, simplified examination of the significance of the lowly earthworm, just in time for garden encounters.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Inviting readers to think about howthey, like the indomitable Carl, ’help the earth.’”—The Horn Book

Raves for Deborah Freedman’s previous books:

* “An exquisite treasure for bashful readers, animal lovers, and anyone who’s ever wanted a friend.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review of Shy

* “This tender story about overcoming one’s shyness and making friends has the most delicate illustrations [which will] draw the reader in and make one want to visit Shy the giraffe and Florence the bird every night before bed.”—School Library Connection, starred review of Shy

“New friends, whether shy or not, will enjoy watching this friendship blossom.”—The Horn Book on Shy

“Freedman gently suggests that love can push us to be braver than we’ve ever been.”—Publishers Weekly on Shy

“This warm, gentle meditation on overcoming fears and making new friends is suitable for a cozy read-aloud and quiet one-on-one enjoyment.”—School Library Journal on Shy

*“Wearing its metafictionality lightly and told largely through dialogue that begs for performance, Freedman’s story speaks to the power of creative passion and the rewards of playing well with others.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review of By Mouse and Frog

*“With metafiction crowding picture-book shelves these days, each new piece needs to earn its place, and this one does…. An elegant, exuberant portrayal of stylistic differences and child-writer passion.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review of By Mouse and Frog

*“The text, which neatly avoids committing to the gender of either of the friends, is almost entirely dialogue, and it’s a treat to read aloud…an endearing take on the complementary-friends story.”—BCCB, starred review of By Mouse and Frog

*“This marvelous metabook shines in both concept and beauty.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review of The Story of Fish and Snail

*“Breathtakingly beautiful meta-illustrations will draw many eyes to this tale of a curious chicken who spills some paint…. Delicate and durable, visually sophisticated yet friendly: simply exquisite.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review of Blue Chicken


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