Sunday, December 4, 2016

Charlie the Tramp ~ Russell Hoban with illustrations by Lillian Hoban

  • Age Range: 3 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Plough Publishing House; Gld edition (October 3, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874867800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874867800

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.”

My take on this book:
When Charlie the Beaver's grandfather asks him what he wants to be when he grows up the answer is to become a tramp instead of working as a beaver so that he can live an easy life of wandering around and having no responsibilities.  It doesn't take Charlie long though to realize that perhaps working as a beaver isn't all that bad! 

A story that provides a few valuable lessons such as work ethic and family. I loved how Charlie's parents decided to let Charlie try out the tramp lifestyle. The family feel of this book is wonderful and the illustrations which look like pencil drawings really bring the story to life.  While this is a charming little story I think that parts of the storyline might be a bit dated, such as mom running off to cook for the men, I got the feeling that men worked and women stayed home and cooked,  but that is to be expected because it was originally released fifty years ago.  Overall it is a cute little read with a few valuable lessons woven in.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

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