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Children's Fiction Christmas & Advent

Carl the Christmas Carp

by (author) Ian Krykorka

illustrated by Vladyana Krykorka

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Sep 2006
Christmas & Advent, Europe, Fishes
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2016
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2006
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2006
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 3 to 5
  • Grade: p to k
  • Reading age: 3 to 5


Every year, Radim's family has a delicious carp for Christmas dinner, selected from the huge wooden barrels that line the streets of Prague in December. But this year, when Radim sits by the bathtub feeding breadcrumbs to the fish that his father has chosen, he sees more than a delectable meal.
p>In Carl the Christmas Carp, Ian Krykorka writes a story drawn from his mother's childhood and from life in present day Prague as well. In the vibrant illustrations, Vladyana Krykorka lovingly recreates the city of her birth and her youth, down to the last glorious detail.

About the authors

Ian Krykorka's picturebook,Carl the Christmas Carp is his first book with Orca. As a child born in Canada, Ian thought that eating fish instead of turkey for Christmas dinner would be strange. Still, he was captivated by his mother's tales of how back in Czechoslovakia her family kept their Christmas carp in the bathtub, feeding it kitchen scraps to fatten it up. After Ian experienced his first Christmas in Prague in 1999 and then lived there for six months in 2003, the time had come to write a book, which he did, using a computer powered by solar energy. Ian lives, writes and designs websites in Toronto, Ontario and is also the author of Silver Moon, illustrated by his mother, Vladyana Krykorka. Carl notwithstanding, fish is one of Ian's favorite foods.


Ian Krykorka's profile page

Vladyana Krykorka has illustrated and designed over 30 books for children. Her work has received numerous awards, including the Toronto Public Library’s recognition of Baseball Bats for Christmas as one of the 100 best children’s books of all time. In the last two years she has conducted art workshops in several Quebec Arctic communities, working with Inuit teachers in the creation of their own books and class materials, as well as textile printmaking techniques.

Vladyana Krykorka's profile page


  • Commended, CCBC Our Choice
  • Commended, Resource Links "The Year's Best"
  • Winner, IODE Book Award - Toronto Chapter winner

Editorial Reviews

"This book will be an excellent addition to any collection of multicultural children's literature. Excellent."

Resource Links

"Nicely paced, descriptive text, which is well-matched with luminous, mixed-media illustrations that evoke both the excitement of the festive, bustling streets and the coziness of lamplit interiors. Direct references to the Baby Jesus make this a good choice for observant Christian families, while families seeking multicultural holiday stories will appreciate this non-American view of tradition."

Booklist Magazine

Other titles by Vladyana Krykorka