Alexandra Day (born 1941) was largely self-taught as an artist, though she had an artist for a father, and spent a short time at the famous Art Students’ League in New York.
Alexandra and her husband started the Green Tiger Press in 1970 but it didn’t occur to her to try illustrating herself until a salewoman for the company suggested that a new version of “The Teddy Bears’ Picnic” would be popular. They didn’t have an illustrator who seemed right, so she illustrated it herself. That book is still in print, so I guess you could say it was a popular success!
Her best-known books are the Good Dog Carl series, about an extremely canny Rottweiler who takes care of a baby. One reviewer called him “the Mary Poppins of the dog world!” There have been more than a score of Carl books, in addition to some calendars, puzzles etc. Her latest one is just out and published by Laughing Elephant. See the book>
And yes, there is a real Carl, though he, like all the other 4 Carls, has his own name. He is a daily helper at the Laughing Elephant, along with his friend, the Irish Terrier Cleo.
He is an excellent model and thereby very helpful to Alexandra Day. He can even model as a Swiss Mountain Dog, as he did for “The Fairy Dogfather.” See the book>
In addition to the Carl books, Alexandra has illustrated a score of other books, a two of them written by her daughters, Abigail and Christina, three with her friend Cooper Edens, and the Frank and Ernest books, by her husband, Harold Darling. See the book>