I love classic children’s books. It’s so heart-warming to know that they’ve delighted children and their parents for generations. Books written long ago have a certain sweetness and innocence to them that never go out of style. So, I was thrilled to hear that the publisher is releasing a special 50th anniversary hardcover edition of Charlie the Tramp, by Russell Hoban! This book won the Boys Club of America Junior Book Award in 1968, and has the sweetest illustrations by Lillian Hoban. (You may recognize her art if you’re familiar with the Frances series of children’s books.)
About the book:
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.”
Like many children, Charlie thinks that “the grass is always greener on the other side.” If he leaves home, he won’t have to do chores or help his family. He’ll be free to do whatever he wants. Wisely, his family decides to let Charlie learn a lesson for himself. So, Charlie becomes a “tramp.” At first, he likes doing whatever he wants. He’s content to do “little jobs” rather than “hard work.” But he soon finds that being a tramp isn’t as fun as he’d hoped. He can’t resist doing what a beaver does such as building a dam. Before long, Charlie realizes that “hard work” is not so bad after all, and he’d rather be a beaver than a tramp!
This story will help kids to see that trying to be something you’re not doesn’t usually work. And that hard work isn’t something to put aside. Being with family and having a purpose in life is much more rewarding!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.
ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR
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.
One lucky winner will receive a hardcover copy of Charlie the Tramp, by Russell Hoban. Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to US residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Friday, December 16, 2016.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book to facilitate my honest review. This post contains my Amazon affiliate link, and I will receive a small commission on purchases made through my link.