Book Review of Carl the Capybara: A Lesson in Stranger Danger
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The Children’s Book Review
Written by Tafana Caesar
Illustrated by Vicky Amrullah
Ages 3-8 | 36 Pages
Publisher: Tafana Caesar | ISBN-13: 9781739842109
What to Expect: Exploration, safety, stranger danger, friendship
Mama and Papa Capybara want Carl to be careful—they know the jungle is full of dangers for a little capybara. Carl doesn’t want to be careful, though—he’s full of excitement and curiosity! Carl wants to race through the jungle, making friends with all the new animals he meets, so one day, he sneaks off when no one is looking and sets about exploring the Amazon. As he wanders through the forest, meeting anacondas who want to squeeze him and jaguars who want to knock him over and turn him into stew, the memory of Mama and Papa’s warnings keep him safe and remind him to be cautious with the strangers he encounters!
Balancing the fine line between childish innocence and curiosity and adult caution and fear can be very difficult, but Carl the Capybara manages it with humor and a light touch. Onomatopoeic text (“Yip-yip! Splish splash!”) keeps the adventure rolling at a fast pace, and Carl’s energy and excitement are infectious. Colorful, cartoon-like illustrations add fun details (like the big red bow on Anna Anaconda’s head), and a happy ending full of cuddles softens the moral about being wary of strangers.
Overall, Carl the Capybara is a fun and gentle way to teach young readers about stranger danger—and jungle animals.
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About the Author
Carl the Capybara is the brainchild of Guyanese-born Tafana Caesar, who loves both animals and reading. Through her books, Tafana aims to encourage a love of reading in children whilst highlighting the unique animals of the Amazon rainforest.
As a child, Tafana was an avid reader and has fond memories of picking out the newest Enid Blyden or Ladybird book to add to her collection. Writing children’s books allows Tafana to unleash her vivid imagination and share a part of her personality and creativity with the world.
Now living in London, on any given day you can find Tafana frolicking in England’s green spaces, drawing, reading, or watching nature documentaries about animals from around the world.
For more information, visit https://www.carlthecapybara.com/.
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