Literature / Good Dog, Carl!

Good Dog, Carl! is a series of children's books by Alexandra Day.

The premise behind each book is as follows — a Rottweiler named Carl is in charge of taking care of a baby named Madeline while the parents are busy. They get into all sorts of adventures and mischief, and then clean up the mess and return safely without the parents noticing. The series is known for it's beautiful watercolor paintings, all of which are done by the author herself, as well as little to no dialogue.

Good Dog, Carl! provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Badly Battered Babysitter: Subverted. Not only does Carl take excellent care of Madeline, but he assists her from time to time, such as giving her a nudge down the laundry chute, fix food, or window shop to see Santa.
  • Big, Friendly Dog: Carl himself. He's very smart, and Madeline rides on his back like a pony. Unusually for this trope, he's a Rottweiler.
  • Dog Stereotype: Averted. Carl's a Rottweiler, but he isn't vicious or mean at all.
  • Long-Runners: 25 years.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: Carl pushes Madeline down a laundry chute as a makeshift slide and lands in a pile of clothes in the first book.
  • Precious Puppies: A Rottweiler puppy accompanies the pair in Carl's Afternoon in the Park.
  • Recursive Canon: Several of the later books head in this direction. Carl's Sleepy Afternoon goes so far as to have Carl posing in front of a poster in a bookstore window advertising the "new Carl book."
  • Smelly Skunk: A skunk almost sprays Carl and Madeline in Carl's Summer Vacation, but they escape in time.