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National Carl Day

The CBC Holidays Series explores stories that relate to specific holidays so that readers of all ages can celebrate in the best way… with a good book!

Tomorrow is National Carl Day, where we celebrate the Carl’s of the world and all variations of the name. Originally, the name started as Karl (German for “a free man”), and it expanded and changed around the world, becoming the English Carl or Charles, the Italian Carlo, the Spanish/Portuguese Carlos, and even the Slovakian Karol. We now have popular figures with the name, like Carl Jung, Eric Carle, and even CBC’s own wonderful executive director, Carl Lennertz. So let’s celebrate the Carl’s in our lives today with these Carl-themed books.

Fictional Characters

Carl and the Meaning of Life, by Deborah Freedman (Penguin Random House / Viking Books for Young Readers) — Fiction, Picture Book, Animals, Contemporary, ages 4-6.

Carl at the Dog Show, by Alexandra Day (Macmillan / Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)) — Fiction, Picture Book, Animals, Series, ages 4-6.

Mio, My Son, by Astrid Lindgren; illus. Ilon Wikland (The New York Review Children’s Collection) — Fiction, Picture Book, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action / Adventure, ages 7-12.

La roca de Mila y Carlos, by Alessandro Montagnana (NubeOcho) — Fiction, Picture Book, Animals, Science, Spanish, ages 4-6.

Scrubba Dub, Carlos, by Stuart J. Murphy; illus. Tim Jones (Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.) — Fiction, Picture Book, Animals, Concepts, ages 0-3.

Nonfiction Characters

The $25,000 Flight (Totally True Adventures): How Lindbergh Set a Daring Record…, by Lori Haskins Houran; illus. Wesley Lowe (Random House Books for Young Readers) — Nonfiction, Picture Book, Science, Biography / Memoir, History, ages 7-12.

Karl, Get Out of the Garden!: Carolus Linnaeus and the Naming of Everything, by Anita Sanchez; illus. Catherine Stock (Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.) — Nonfiction, Picture Book, Biography / Memoir, Science, History, ages 7-12.

Is There Life in Outer Space?, by Jan Leyssens; illus. Joachim Sneyers (Clavis Publishing) — Nonfiction, Picture Book, Science, Biography / Memoir, Series, ages 7-12.

Marx, by Corinne Maier; illus. Anne Simon (Nobrow) — Nonfiction, Graphic Novel, Biography / Memoir, History, Teen.

When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana, by Michael Mahin; illus. Jose Ramirez (Simon & Schuster / Atheneum Books for Young Readers) — Nonfiction, Picture Book, Music / Art, Biography / Memoir, ages 4-6.


A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens and Karen Hesse (Scholastic Inc.) — Fiction, Prose, Holidays, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Teen.

From Head to Toe Padded Board Book, written and illustrated Eric Carle (HarperCollins / HarperFestival) — Fiction, Board Book, Animals, Concepts, Health, ages 0-3.

Hoot, by Carl Hiaasen (Random House Children’s / Yearling) — Fiction, Prose, Humor, Animals, Science, ages 7-12.

MWD: Hell Is Coming Home, by Brian David Johnson and Jan Egleson; illus. Karl Stevens and Laila Milevski (Candlewick Press) — Fiction, Graphic Novel, Animals, Historical Fiction, Teen.

Pinocchio (Classic Starts® Books), by Carlo Collodi, Jakob Grimm, and Wilhelm Grimm; illus. Lucy Corvino (Union Square Kids) — Fiction, Picture Book, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action / Adventure, ages 7-12.

Celebrate National Carl Day by reading a book!

List compiled by CBC’s resident holiday expert, Sommer Wissner. Check out other CBC Holiday book lists on our blog.

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