Charles of the Wild

Overview

At Number 9 Belknap Street lives a small moody dog named Charles. The lady who owns him is afraid he will catch cold, and Charles is not allowed outdoors, even in his handsome lamb's-wool sweater. But Charles can't be contained forever. One night when he sniffs the smells of the wild and hears the far-off calling of wolves through an open window, he escapes from the apartment. With charmingly detailed pictures and comical text, John and Ann Hassett tell of Charles's liberation into the wild. Follow Charles as he ...

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This canine Water Mitty is a winsome character, loved by both his elderly lady owner and the street man who understands his need for adventure.

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Overview

At Number 9 Belknap Street lives a small moody dog named Charles. The lady who owns him is afraid he will catch cold, and Charles is not allowed outdoors, even in his handsome lamb's-wool sweater. But Charles can't be contained forever. One night when he sniffs the smells of the wild and hears the far-off calling of wolves through an open window, he escapes from the apartment. With charmingly detailed pictures and comical text, John and Ann Hassett tell of Charles's liberation into the wild. Follow Charles as he roams along cobblestone streets, howls at streetlamps he mistakes for the moon, and discovers the joys of jelly doughnuts. A story of friendship, CHARLES OF THE WILD will capture the hearts of all readers who dream of the wild but still can find adventure in a park full of squirrels on a sunny afternoon.

A pampered city dog longs for the freedom of the wild.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Young readers and listeners will be tickled by Charles’s rebellion against boredom and conformity.” Children's Book Review Service

“In an exuberant paean to freedom, a pampered house dog hears the call of the wild, but can only dream longingly of running with the wolves and howling with the coyotes until an open window offers escape . . . An engaging and very doggy story.” Kirkus Reviews

“A liberating walk on the wild side (aka the Boston Common) awaits lapdog Charles in this wry tale.” Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A liberating walk on the wild side (aka the Boston Common) awaits lapdog Charles in this wry tale. Accustomed to being carried to the groomer's "so that he would not soil his paws" and not being allowed outdoors because "he might catch cold," Charles lives the high life-but longs for the low. His dreams, shown as a backdrop to an image of him happily asleep, are of gnawing a moose bone or joining coyotes that howl at the moon. One night, Charles slips out an open window. He loses his lamb's wool sweater, howls at a streetlight that he mistakes for the moon and hides in a rubbish bin, where he is found the next morning by a raggedy man. Allowing Charles to play but returning him to his fancy home, the man engineers a solution to please both Charles and his doting owner, a well-padded old lady. Unleashed, Charles provides a buoyant contrast to Boston's tidy rowhouses and manicured park, detailed here in refined daubs of brick red and forest green. To heighten the drollery, the Hassetts (We Got My Brother at the Zoo) provide absurdly tasteful scenarios (e.g., Charles's meals are pictured laid out on a white rug set with candelabra, fresh flowers and fine china) and adopt clipped, upper-crusty tones for the narration. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
Children's Literature
Charles is a proper dog who is kept inside and given the best toys and bitter medicines. His owner, an elderly lady, doesn't want him to catch a cold. In his dreams, he is happy because he dreams of going outside and hunting wolves and howling at the moon. One day he escapes and explores the city. An older man brings him home at the end of the day. The illustrations in this book are very well-done. At first glance they seem to follow the story line completely, but after further examination, they are masterpieces in their own right. They complete the story with visually humorous, subtle details, such as hunting dogs in the living room, and a cat and mouse together on outside steps. 2000 (orig. 1997), Houghton Mifflin, $14.95 and $5.95. Ages 5 to 9. Reviewer: Nicole Peterson
School Library Journal
PreSCharles, a small, pampered dog who lives on Beacon Hill, is never allowed to step outside for fear of catching cold or soiling his paws. Only in his dreams of chasing rabbits and howling in the moonlight does he have any fun or freedom. One night the pup slips out an open window and roams the city streets. He meets a shabbily dressed man who leads him to a park where the two spend a glorious day. That evening, the man takes Charles back to his owner and promises to come for him each morning thereafter for a stroll in the park. The best thing about this slight story is its droll, whimsically detailed illustrations done in acrylics.Sally R. Dow, Ossining Public Library, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618082223
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.69 (w) x 7.88 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

John and Ann Hassett have been collaborating on picture books for more than ten years. Their books are known for their quirky humor and lively illustrations. The Hassetts live and work in Maine, where their “commute to work is short (upstairs, and first door on the right).”


John and Ann Hassett have collaborated on many heartwarming picture books for children. They live in Waldoboro, Maine, with two small girls, chickens, and a dog, as well as mice in the walls.

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