Just like the worm in my latest book, every creature in Carl and The Meaning of Life has an important job. The mouse, rabbit, squirrel, fox, and ground beetle all need each other, and our world needs them. Everything is connected— including you!
Here are a few newish books I like about the interconnectedness of things. Do you have some favorites?
No Monkeys, No Chocolate, by Melissa Stewart and Allen Young, illustrations by Nicole Wong, Charlesbridge 2013
Lovely Beasts: The Surprising Truth, by Kate Gardner, illustrations by Heidi Smith, Balzer & Bray 2018
Bugged: How Insects Changed History, by Sarah Albee, illustrations by Robert Leighton, Bloomsbury 2014
Leaf Litter Critters, by Leslie Bulion, illustrations by Robert Meganck, Peachtree 2018
It's my favorite way to launch a book: to celebrate the publication of my latest today, I Skyped with several hundred children, from Connecticut to Hawaii and states in between. Carl and The Meaning of Life is about how everything and all of us are connected — so, many, many thanks to the wonderful teachers and school librarians who participated and made today’s connections possible! I could not have asked for a better Book Birthday.,
I could chat with John Schumacher, aka @MrSchuReads, Ambassador of School Libraries for Scholastic, about books for hours— so chatting with him about my own book on his blog is a special honor!
Mr. Schu: Hello, Deborah Freedman! Thank you for returning to Watch.Connect.Read. to celebrate Carl and the Meaning of Life. I love everything about this beautiful picture book—the case cover, barcode, paper, story, heart. EVERYTHING! Thank you for always putting your heart on the page.
Deborah Freedman: Thank you for this! Putting one’s heart on the page is a scary thing, so when I send love out to readers and then am lucky enough to have it returned… it means the world to me…
I’m so grateful for these early reviews of Carl and the Meaning of Life, coming soon from Viking Children’s books on April 2, 2019!
“... shows how tiny organisms help to keep the natural world in balance in this inventive worm’s-eye view of the web of life.”
★ “This book is a poignant example of the important contributions of even the smallest creature, but it’s better than that—it’s a science lesson as well. Freedman subtly explains the delicate balance of nature and each creature’s role in maintaining it. Carl is an endearing protagonist.”
—School Library Journal, starred review
★ “… supported by fabulous illustrations… This spare but endearing story will help youngsters understand the wonder and interconnectedness of nature.”
—Booklist, starred review
★ "Even someone who does not like worms will fall in love with Carl… This is a wonderful book to spark a conversation… a must-have in all collections!"
– School Library Connections, starred review
“… celebrates the interconnectedness of all creatures, including the reader… just in time for garden encounters.”
”... Freedman adds the occasional sly touch of humor to this little ecological fable…."
—Bulletin of the Center of Children’s Books
”... inviting readers to think about how they, like the indomitable Carl, ‘help the earth.’"
—The Horn Book
“I love how it’s rooted in science… but also about about discovering yourself and trying to figure out who you are and why you matter and what place you have on this earth… It’s a beautiful book for kids and it makes the world a better place.”
Thank you for this book talk, Colby!