About the Book:
Charlie the Tramp was originally published in 1966, and this special hardcover edition is the 50th anniversary edition of the book. Written by author Russell Hoban and illustrated by Lillian Hoban, it was the winner of the 1968 Boys Club of America Junior Book Award. It is 48 pages long and written for ages 3-8.
Charlie the Beaver wants to be a tramp when he grows up. “Tramps don’t have to learn how to chop down trees and how to roll logs and how to build dams. Tramps just tramp around and have a good time. Tramps carry sticks with little bundles tied to them. They sleep in a field when the weather is nice, and when it rains they sleep in a barn.” Charlie sets off with his bundle. But when he hears water trickling, he can’t get to sleep. Will he be able to resist the urge to make it stop? As Grandfather Beaver says, “You never know when a tramp will turn out to be a beaver.”
About the Author and Illustrator:
Russell Hoban (1925-2011) first became famous for his children’s picture books about a badger named Frances and other animal characters that have a lot in common with children we know – bedtime for Frances, A Baby Sister for Frances, Bread and Jam for Frances, and Emmit Otter’s Jug-band Christmas.
Lillian Hoban (1925-1998), one of America’s favorite children’s book illustrators, is best known for a young chimpanzee named Arthur and his little sister, Violet. She also illustrated six of Russell Hoban’s books about Frances the badger, which have taken their place among the great classics of children’s literature. Lillian Hoban was born in Philadelphia and attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Art. She studied dance for ten years and became a professional dancer. She began to write and illustrate her own stories only after having children, basing her tales on their experiences.
What I Thought: Charlie the Tramp is an adorable story from many years ago. It reminded me of the books I read as a child, so different from modern children's books. When I saw the length of the book and that the pictures were all black and white, I was thinking my grandson, age 5, would not last through the entire story. I was wrong! He really enjoyed the cute story, and later on asked my 14-year-old son to read it to him again. My teenage son told me it was a cute and funny story too!
I enjoyed the moral of the story-let children stretch their wings and find their own way, but if they were guided correctly they will eventually come back to what they were meant to do. The only thing I could see some viewing negatively are the gender stereotypes (think 50 years ago). Even with that, it is an adorable story with sweet illustrations that would appeal to children.
To learn more about Charlie the Tramp and purchase your own copy, visit this website: http://www.plough.com/en/topics/culture/short-stories/charlie-the-tramp
You can also purchase the book at Amazon.
I have one copy of Charlie the Tramp to give away. To enter, comment below with your favorite book when you were a child. Make sure to leave your email address, as the winner will be contacted by email. Contest ends 12/11. See additional restrictions below.
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