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CARMIN CARES (Pumkinheads Series)

Author: Karen Kilpatrick

Illustrator: An-Lon Chen

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Nina Charles, LLC 2012

Material: board book

Summary: Carmin is playing in the park. She looks around and sees there is trash on the ground. Carmin wants to do something about litter. She goes home and makes a sign that says "Please keep our park clean" that she puts up in the park. This is a board book that introduces the concept of caring for our world to young readers.

Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 1 to 5; read yourself: 6 to 9

Interest Level: 2 to 4

Age of Child: Read with 14-month-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: My daughter picked this book for me to read to her. She stayed engaged with it from beginning to end, and also wanted to read it again.

Adult Reader Reaction: I was not surprised my daughter enjoyed the book. It has minimal text, rhyming words, and bright illustrations. I do not like this book. Based on other books we've read, the text and illustrations are not of the highest quality. Writing a story about solving a social problem seems a bit advanced for the board book audience.

Pros: Simple illustrations help highlight a story about caring for our world.

Cons: The book has themes / vocabulary too mature for this audience. A story about trying to get people to keep a park clean seems to be a difficult message for toddlers to understand. The theme is undermined by poor text with cutesy language that does not fit the story. For example, the sentence "Flower Ice Cream Princess Carmin wants to play in the park" does not work well.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow or skip. Although my daughter liked the book, there are other better books about taking care of the earth that she will enjoy when she is old enough to better understand that theme.

If You Liked This Book, Try: Clifford's Spring Clean-Up by Norman Bridwell I LOVE MY PLANET EARTH (I Love My Board Books)   WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE GREEN?   MICHAEL RECYCLE

Educational Themes: Picking up trash and putting up signs are two ways that Carmin uses to demonstrate how to take care of the earth. With preschool audiences, you might ask about the "parts" of the earth that need our care and ask for ideas on how to do that.

Notes: The Reading Tub® received a copy of this book at Book Expo America. There are no expectations of review associated with this book.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book series, civics, ecology

Date(s) Reviewed: July 2015

Other Reviews: No Critics Reviews found at the time of this review. See reader feedback at and


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