Did You Carry The Flag Today, Charley? is another Rebecca Caudill favorite in our home. It’s another story about a poor family living in the Appalachian Mountains. Five-year-old Charley is unendingly curious and in constant motion, traits that combine to make him a bit different than the other students at Little School. It’s Charley’s first time to go to school, and every day he discovers something new that amazes his eager mind. Unfortunately, his discoveries don’t exactly help him to be a calm, quiet pupil. Instead, Charley is outside when he’s supposed to be inside, washing his hands when he’s supposed to remain dry, wiggly and distracting when he’s supposed to be still and unobtrusive. In a word, Charley is charming. He’s a little guy out in the world for the first time, and his excitement over everything he sees is contagious. How my girls giggled as we read about all of silly Charley’s antics!
Every day, the most helpful student is honored by being the one to carry the flag as he leads the other students out to the bus. Every day, Charley’s family ask if he was the one who carried the flag. And poor Charley replies in the negative day after day. Finally, though, on a truly extraordinary day, Charley’s answer is decidedly different!
The illustrations accompanying the story are skillful pencil drawings made by Nancy Grossman. They offer a lovely visual for little ones, and beautifully communicate Charley’s nonstop energy and excitement. They really do complement the story in a wonderful way.
Boys and girls alike will enjoy this tale tremendously. I look forward to reading it again to my own children before too long!