Carl and the Meaning of Life by Deborah Freedman
as have these lowly creatures." Charles Darwin
Meet Carl, the lowly earthworm. Each day he toils, tunneling through the heavy ground and decaying detritus, leaving in his wake enriched and aerate soil.
Day after day...
Until the field mouse asks him, "Why do you do that?"
"Why?" Carl puzzles.
He goes in search of an answer to the mouse's question. He queries rabbit who is tending her babies, fox who is hunting for dinner, and squirrel who is planting tree. Each animal is too concerned with personal tasks to consider Carl's inquiry.
Meanwhile, the ground has become hard, dry and barren. What has happened?
Freedman's signature watercolors are the perfect match for the story. Landscapes above and below ground are breathtakingly beautiful. She is a master of the watercolor wash. While all the animals are endearing, it is Carl who steals the show. More than his expressive face, it's his body language. Who knew that a worm could have body language?
Carl and the Meaning of Life is more than a gentle environment, ecology and food chain tutorial. It is a thoughtful exploration of an individual contribution to the larger community.