I just love old books. Pretty much the older the better! The book I am reviewing today was the winner of the Boys Club of America Junior Book Award in 1968 and is an American classic back in a special 50th anniversary hardcover edition. This book definitely qualifies as a wonderful old book! Come check out this Charlie the Tramp review and giveaway!
CHARLIE THE BEAVER
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.”
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.
CHARLIE THE TRAMP REVIEW
When I was approached about doing a review of this book, I got really excited. Like, giddy almost! It sounded like the perfect book for my kids. It has been struggle lately with my 8-year-old son to do his schoolwork or chores, so I jumped at the chance to get a book that might teach him a lesson about diligence. I mean, we all know what happens when kids won’t apply themselves to their work… Mommas worry that the kid won’t ever get a job or go to college. Mommas worry that they are lacking somehow as parents, that maybe what we’ve been teaching them has been enough. At least, this momma worries. (I’m working on that!)
But when I received this book in the mail, I was surprised that the book didn’t just teach my somewhat tramp-like boy a lesson. It taught me a little something too. When Charlie made his shocking pronouncement, his family took it in stride. No worry about how Charlie wouldn’t be a contributing member of society. No thoughts of failure to be good parents. Just letting Charlie make his own mistakes and find his own way in life. Charlie the Tramp went to live in the field but came back occasionally to do “little jobs” for his breakfast and lunch.
At first glance it might seem that they were permissively just letting him do what he wanted, but I don’t think that was the case at all. They were simply letting life itself teach him the lesson he needed to learn. They knew that he would understand more if he figured it out on his own. They knew this because they had wanted to be tramps once too.
When Charlie ends up being a beaver after all, it struck me that Charlie’s pond looked alot like one his father would make. How did he know how to build a dam like his father? Because his dad had shown him how. In the little moments when Charlie was working for his lunch, his Dad had been training him all along.
I love this book more now than I did before! Not just for the lessons it can teach my children, but for the lessons it can teach me. About life. And training my kids. And consistency.
The story is wonderfully charming, and the illustrations are amazing! I wholeheartedly recommend this book! Run right over and grab your own copy now!
But wait! The publisher has offered to give one of my readers a copy of this adorable book for free! Enter below to win! Giveaway ends Dec 10, 2016 at Midnight EDT.