Saturday, December 3, 2016

Charlie the Tramp by Russell Hoban

Charlie the Tramp is celebrating 50 years with a new hardcover release. Winner of the 1968 Boys Club of America Junior Book Award, the book was authored by Russell Hoban (Bread and Jam for Frances; Emmit Otter’s Jug-band Christmas) and illustrated by Lillian Hoban. Lillian illustrated 6 of Russell's books, but is best known for a young chimpanzee named Arthur and his little sister, Violet. 

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.” (publisher)

This is a cute story, with delightful illustrations, about the adventures of a beaver who decides he wants to be a tramp when he grows up. With the encouragement of his parents and grandfather, young Charlie sets out to a nearby field to be a tramp. He returns home at mealtimes to do some chores in exchange for his food, but travels back to the field to sleep. But...a noise keeps distracting him. A stream of water is singing much to loudly and Charlie goes over to investigate. When Charlie does not show up for breakfast, his family makes an interesting discovery.

I don't remember this book from my childhood, but would have been too old for it by the time it was written. But, had I been younger, this would have been one I enjoyed. Some may say it is a bit outdated, but I don't find offense at any of it. I see a family who is encouraging a little boy to explore his aspirations within a safe boundary. This is a charming tale of natural instincts and a nurturing family with the sense to know that children need a bit of freedom to explore possibilities. I, too, remember a brief desire to become a tramp as a child. :) My parents calmly explained the pros and cons, and I decided to postpone that dream. 

Charlie the Tramp/Plough website

GIVEAWAY: There is also a copy for one of my readers. Simply let me know in a comment (blog or Facebook) that you want to be entered. Deadline is December 10, 2016. USA residents only.
Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.


Cindy Navarro said...

Debbie Brown is entered

Beth said...

I would love to win this!
dez3b at yahoo dot com