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Little Toot
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Little Toot

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  2,595 ratings  ·  55 reviews
"I am delighted to know that this classic piece of Americana, Little Toot, will be enjoyed by readers of all ages for years go come." --Eric Carle

First published in 1939, this classic story of the energetic tugboat is brought to new life in this restored edition. With the help and support of Hardie Gramatky's estate, to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth, we have use
Hardcover, 91 pages
Published September 6th 2007 by Putnam Juvenile (first published 1939)
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Community Reviews

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Linda Smith
Jul 22, 2008 Linda Smith rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: a child of any age who wants to be a hero
Recommended to Linda by: Hardie & Doppy Gramatky
OK, of course I love Little Toot because he's been part of my life since I was born! My dad wrote and illustrated it, and in 2007, I was part of getting Putnam to publish this beautiful, vibrant restored edition with the original endpapers and some rescanned or new artwork from the first edition (1939). I love the enthusiasm that readers have for Dad's original watercolors. It's fun to see that others love this mischievous little tugboat too.
Greg Strandberg
I read this book to my son at the library today and it was really good. Little Toot has big waters to fill, with this granddad, an old river tug, and his dad, Big Toot. The drawings are really good and it's nice to see an author able to do something so good, in it's own way.

Certainly a good story well worth reading.
John Yelverton
Such a fun and happy little book that is absolutely perfect for little kids.
Karah Webb
Little Toot was one of the smallest tugboats out there, but he came from a great family of important elder tugboats. Little Toot did not like to tow bigger boats, and would much rather play all day creating figure 8's in the river. One night, he got caught in the middle of a huge storm where others were in danger. Little Toot used his smoke bubbles to create and SOS for others to see far away. Little Toot had saved the day and he was respected from that day forward. This story would be good for ...more
the Reeds
Right up there with Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel.
Delightful illustrations hit the mark both for their artistic merit and child-friendly, expressive charm. Perfect picture book illustrations. The story is timeless in its appeal to a preschool to beginning school age; exploring themes of self worth, being brave and learning to behave with self awareness.
Oct 29, 2014 Margaret marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Margaret by: Memoria Press First Grade Curriculum
Excerpts and/or reprints included in Stories And Fables.
Not my favorite, but it is in heavy rotation in Chloe's bedtime "greatest hits" right now. Personally, I would have given it one or two stars, but she loves it - so it is granted three stars.
Mia Balsamo
PB26: A classic picturebook that I remember from my childhood. Little Toot is just a playful little tugboat that does not want to venture out into the scary sea but enjoys playing in the river instead. That is, until he is made fun of by the other tugboats, and then he becomes determined to be as great of a tugboat as his father and grandfather! It is a great story about overcoming your fears and becoming the person that you were meant to be. I would definitely recommend this book for children w ...more
Rose Goodwin
This was one of my favorite books to read when I was little. I liked how the tug boat proved he could do big things. I like the way the boats all have different personalities.
Sep 25, 2011 Allison rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Preschoolers & Up
Recommended to Allison by: 1001 CBYMRBYGU
Shelves: 1001-cbymrbygu
Anthropomorphism of boats! Yay! While some of the details of this story could be challenging to explain to children today (boats from Antarctica loaded with whale oil, being proud of how much smoke one can make) the moral message is great and comes full-circle.

Little Toot doesn't like to work, he ends up being ridiculed by his friends, he sulks, he ends up in the right place at the right time to help in an emergency, becomes a hero, and changes his ways. It's actually an inspirational little sto
This has stood the test of time remarkably well. I remember it fondly both from my childhood and from reading it aloud to my children.
I enjoyed this book as a child and loved to read it to my son when he was little. The artwork is fun too.
It was a little bit boring but I still read it and I enjoyed some parts but others I didn't care about..
Amanda Wheet
Little Toot is used in Melody Time.

I remember this as a Golden Book as a child, and the story of the small tugboat. Still cute, and this restored edition has great watercolors. I know that I've seen Melody Time before, but I don't really remember this. Excited to watch it again!
Great artwork and lessons, like a 1939 grandparent to Disney's "Cars".
Robin Brennan
Maddie came home talking about Little Toot and the fact that they hadn't had time to finish the story. It stopped me for a minute as I wondered if it was the same story that I had read as a child and then read to my children. As she spoke, knew it was one and the same, so had to get her a copy, so we could enjoy this memory together. She was so surprised to hear that I had read this as a child and that her father had read it also. It was a wonderful experience.
This wonderful story is both vibrant in it's tale and it's gorgeous artwork. And, even for my distracted son that was still focused on beating the latest of the Batman levels on Wii, children can be sucked into the intensity of it all. My son, literally, crashed around on his bed sheets in an attempt to dramatize Little Toot's adventure in the waves for me. And who can fault a book that does that?
Jul 19, 2007 Malbadeen rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the work ethics
Shelves: picture-books
Sometimes I wish I was born after the depression so that I could have the strong work ethic and good morals of their childrens books. I have to admit I think they're so sweet and I love a lot of them, including Mike Mulligen and the Steam Shovel, Katy and the Big Snow, Make Way for ducklings, and that one about the house of the hill that I'm too lazy to walk over and get right now.
Little Toot doesn't like work at all or the thought of pulling big ships. After being made fun of for playing and making figure eights, he decides to make his father proud. He made his smoke balls spell S.O.S. when a ship needed help. Other boats come to help, but Little Toot is the star. He works hard from then on.
A classic. This is one I had as a little boy - it's right up there with Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. Great watercolors and a "can do" story.
The illustrations and story in Little Toot are perfection. The story moves quickly and builds in suspence. The illustrations are beautiful. For some reason, even though its not printed, I can always hear Little Toot's toot mature from youthfull to accomplished.

This book was one I read as a kid, and I read it to my daughter tonight. It's a good story about a frivilous tugboat who decided to get serious, but the other tugs and seagoing ocean liners ignore him until he is forced by a crisis to become a hero.
Quite long for a children's picture book; I can only surmise that children of the 1940s and 50s had less distractions and longer attention spans. Familiar trope of a playful young thing proving himself through an act of heroism. Cute.
Oct 10, 2008 Jo rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids
Shelves: childhood-reads
This was actually my brother's book, but I read and reread it. I loved the little tug that never gave up. I think I identified with it and was comforted that size didn't count as much as spirit and determination.
Classic story of a tugboat who is afraid of the seas in which he is to work one day like his brave father and grandfather before him. What will he do when a storm whips up and he finds himself in the churning waters?
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Little Toot is a silly tugboat who refuses to do anything more than play and toot. But one day, he discovers that it is only he who can help and he becomes a valued member of his community.
I loved this book when I was very young, read it countless times, so when I saw it at the library I snatched it up for my daughter to read.
I like the illustrations and it does remind me of a little kid, wanting to play, but also wanting to show how grown up he is at times.
Favorite of mine as a child - now reading with my kids (the original book my grandma gave me in the early '70s.)
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Bernhard August "Hardie" Gramatky, Jr. was an American painter, author, and illustrator. In a 2006 article in Watercolor Magazine, Andrew Wyeth named him as one of America's 20 greatest watercolorists. He wrote and illustrated several children's books, most notably Little Toot.

Hardie Gramatky was born in Dallas, Texas, the second of three sons born to Bernhard Gramatky and Blanche Gunner Gramatky.
More about Hardie Gramatky...
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