Carl and the Meaning of Life

Deborah Freedman
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.


Reviewed: 2020-12-01

Have you ever done something in life that seems so meaningless and wondered why you had to do it? Carl the earthworm has been in the same position. In this book, Carl the earthworm wonders about his purpose in life; he innocently begins wandering around to find out. On his quest, he meets many forest animals who already understand their meaning in life. Will Carl every find out his? This book is simple in text with a deep message. Each spread is more focused on its watercolor illustrations than the few words included, which adds to the presentation. The words are simple on some pages but are very meaningful on others. I enjoyed reading this book because of its very deep and humbling message at the end. This book is recommended for ages 3 and up; however, its readability is recommended more for second graders and on. I would recommend this book as a read aloud, especially if you are a teacher covering a unit on ecosystems and organisms! Submitted by: Catherine Goetter

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