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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.”
Winner of the Boys Club of America Junior Book Award, 1968
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 Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas, among others – and for a young adult novel, The Mouse and His Child. Hoban was born in Pennsylvania and served in World War II. He lived with his wife, Lillian Hoban, who illustrated many of his books, and their four children in Connecticut until 1969, when he moved to London. There he married Gundela Ahl and had three more children. In England, Hoban wrote acclaimed adult novels, including Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Riddley Walker.
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, and for illustrating 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.