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Tootle (A Little Golden Book)

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  6,258 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
Tootle, a young train in training, begins leaving the tracks to cavort in the meadow until engineer Bill figures out a way to lure him back.
Hardcover, 24 pages
Published February 12th 2001 by RHUS (first published 1945)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jen Kautt
Sep 12, 2007 Jen Kautt rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: those parents whom want to alienate their children from the beauty of nature
Tootle,Tootle, all you wanted to do was "dip and soar" like the butterflies you admired in the meadow of Lower Trainswitch. But Bill, head engineer of the School for Engines and "The Mayor Himself" taught you that it was foolish for an engine to get lost looking at hollyhock flowers when he could be the fastest flyer since "old 300".
Yes, a children's book that touts the importance of the coal blackned lungs of the Industrial Revoultion in place of the Romantic reverance of nature. Work and stric
Feb 22, 2008 Emelda rated it did not like it
This is quite possibly the worst book written for children. Ever. Joe loves it, but I refuse to read it to him. It's all about "staying on the tracks no matter what." A little engine finds that he likes playing in a meadow, with the birds and bugs and flowers, and the whole town conspires against him to keep him on the track. There's one illustration where he's sobbing and the all white town is gleefully trying to get him out of the meadow. And what the fuck is with the black horse that gets him ...more
Mar 12, 2010 Jenna rated it it was amazing
My child was wild about this book at at two could pretty much recite it. It's cute and Tootle is adorable. The illustrations are charming. As for those who are so worried that it preaches conformity, please try growing up a bit. It preaches discipline, actually, which is quite different from conformity. My son today is an artist and writer. He has and has always had a great imagination.
John Yelverton
Jul 31, 2011 John Yelverton rated it really liked it
Such a fun and friendly book about a fun and friendly train.
Derrick Schneider
Aug 17, 2015 Derrick Schneider rated it did not like it
Here is how I summarize the themes in this book: Your greatest desire should be to put yourself into the service of a large industrial system, and the best way to get that desire is to rigidly follow all the rules. Literally don't stop to smell the flowers, and don't think outside the box.
Sep 23, 2013 Jason rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens
Some give this 1945 children’s book low ratings for teaching a message of “staying on the rails,” criticizing the implicit message that children should remain within the boundaries set for them instead of exploring all the world has to offer. I give it a low rating for the opposite reason. Boundaries are necessary for joy and usefulness. But despite the main character repeatedly breaking the central rule given to him (a rule designed not just for his own safety, but for the safety of those aroun ...more
Jun 11, 2017 Ceejay rated it it was amazing
I saw this children's book at a library, and instantly remembered the art work! I had my mom read this book to me over and over again in those preschool, can't read days. My original copy had my crayon "add on art work". My big brother loved this story and art, too. We both loved trains, and this story was about Toodles the engine.I noticed that there were complaints about the idea that this little story teaches people to be conformists. Well, after my 7 years in the military I became involved i ...more
Joshua B
Oct 17, 2016 Joshua B rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Toddlers through 2nd Graders
Recommended to Joshua by: Mother
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura Verret
Nov 14, 2014 Laura Verret rated it really liked it
Far, far away in the village of Lower Trainswitch, is a school for all of the baby locomotives who want to become fine flyers when they grow up. It is to this school that Tootle comes for training.

Tootle doesn’t have any trouble with the rules ‘Stopping for a Red Flag Waving’ and ‘Puffing Loudly When Starting’. But he does have trouble with one of the rules – ‘Staying on the Rails No Matter What’. It just seems so hard – especially when the beautiful fields beckon with their butterflies and pret
Sep 23, 2010 Maggie rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 23, 2008 Katherine rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who will read it critically and realize it's not just a cute story
As a non-comformist, I was mortified the first time I read this book as an adult (10 years ago). I immediately looked at the original year it was published-- 1945. Smack in the McCarthy Era. No wonder! Red flags? Stay on the rails? Ironically, I now have two preschoolers who love this book. I keep it around so we can eventually have a discussion about its messages. How does one start a discussion with small children about McCarthyism vs. anarchy? I give this book three stars because on one hand, ...more
Nov 09, 2013 Karen rated it really liked it
I only just recently read this story for the first time, and I have been an adult for many years. Although I had a serious collection of Little Golden Books as a child, my collection did not include this one.

At first as I read this book, I was strongly reminded of Ferdinand the bull, so I liked it. But the ending was very different. If Ferdinand's beloved cork tree had been surrounded by red capes, they might have been the same book. The biggest difference is, Tootles wanted to run the express
⚣❣☙ Michaelle ❧❣⚣
Mar 03, 2016 ⚣❣☙ Michaelle ❧❣⚣ rated it did not like it
Shelves: etc, shorts
OMG I hate this fucking book. I can't even believe I took the time to look it up (I was thinking about GOOD stories for impressionable children, I believe) but once I saw it was here I had put in my 2 cents.

My first reaction when reading this to my infant son one night at bedtime was: What. The Actual. Fuck? Maybe it wasn't overtly written as such, but it read to me as, "Don't color outside the lines. Don't try to be different. Stay in your predetermined place. Always obey."

Fuck. That. Noise.

Dec 04, 2012 Annie rated it it was amazing
This was personally 10 times better than The Little Engine That Could and deserves 6 stars since I personally found the animations to be much more appealing, however, that is the true original version. I had so much fun with this book and taught me to persevere through difficult times. "I think I can I think I can I think I can!" was the mantra it teaches youth. I can't tell you how many times I read this story. This is a MUST HAVE for any child, in addition to first introducing them to The Litt ...more
Jeffrey Hite
Jan 22, 2013 Jeffrey Hite rated it did not like it
Shelves: kids
This is one of those books that for reasons that I can't understand, my children love. We have the original version, and I am very glad that the book is starting to fall apart because I now have a good reason not to read it. I love my kids and normally I will read whatever they bring to me but I always cringe when they bring this one.

This books seems to be about someone who wants something but is not willing to pay the price it takes to get what they want. They have to be forced into it. And the
Jan 23, 2016 Nicole rated it it was ok
The first few pages of this book are just heartbreakingly cute. Baby trains going to school to be big trains! Tibor Gergely illustrations! But then Tootle takes a turn for the dark side. Basically, the moral is you always need to follow the rules, do not stop to smell the flowers, do not be a non-conformist. It's long and preachy and just kind of sad. My three year old loves this book, but my husband always adds an ending of "but whenever Tootle had a day off, he liked to visit his friend the ho ...more
Skylar Burris
Jan 08, 2008 Skylar Burris rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens
This is very wordy, a little too wordy for my preschooler, but she has nonetheless asked to read it repeatedly, and I have been forced to "condense" it in some parts to keep her (and, alas, myself) interested. She doesn't seem to get the concept of what is going on; she just enjoys the pictures of the train. It's not my favorite of the classic Golden Books. I'm not sure I find the message particularly positive. It's not really as if Tootle truly learns the importance of following reasonable rule ...more
Aug 20, 2011 Tiffany rated it did not like it
Shelves: childrens-books
I realized awhile back that I had never read this story before. I always got it mixed up with "The Little Engine That Could", which we read repeatedly growing up and loved! Well, I found a copy of it recently, used, and read it, but did not enjoy it as I expected to. I actually found it just plain ridiculous and irritating! Especially since the phrase "staying on the rails no matter what" is repeated about a million times. I wanted to like it, I really did, but just couldn't!
Mar 21, 2015 Roger rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cute book. I almost think all these little books should be counted as 24 pages because of the art work even on the Title Page. For older children when I have children read it I have them read the title page also and we discuss the story, as to how well they like it. Weather they like the art work, who did the art work and if they remember hearing of that illustrator before. It is fun.
Margaret Chind
Aug 20, 2009 Margaret Chind rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Margaret by: Mary Connealy
We read this one in A Family Treasury of Little Golden Books: 46 Best-Loved Stories. It is wordy but with good morals.
Lewis Manalo
Jun 22, 2013 Lewis Manalo rated it did not like it
If you want to teach your children to conform to the cowardly whims of group think, to embrace conformity, and to "stay on the tracks" outlined by authority, this is the book to give them. Free-thinkers, stay clear of this brightly-colored blot on children's literature.
Nov 06, 2016 Krista rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful images, but the story broke my heart. Tootle is a little train that likes to frolic in the meadows and makes daisy chains. All of the townspeople like Tootle so decide that they must teach him to stay on the rails no matter what. :-(
Emerson and Theodore
It has that great vintage feeling and drawings. But the story line is all about conformity (staying on the rails). Emerson liked it but at the end of the story I asked him if he would like having to "stay on the rails"--he enthusiastically said "no."
Apr 29, 2008 ABC rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: kids
Shelves: younger-kids
This book is VERY wordy for its targeted age group. When my son was a toddler, I would skip whole paragraphs to keep his attention. I'm not even sure I like the moral of the story: it's wrong to get off the tracks and play in the meadow.
Felicia Latoya Brown
Jul 12, 2012 Felicia Latoya Brown rated it really liked it
Another book I found on my nephews' bookshelves that I had to pick up and read. I remembered the title from my childhood but I couldn't remember the story. Cute story with a valuable lesson about following instructions so that you can achieve your dream.
Aug 05, 2009 Audrey rated it liked it
My 2-year old son loves the pictures, but won't sit still for the story yet. There is too much text on each page for him to sit through. The story is kind of inane and taxes my patience to even read it to him, also.
L'apprentissage d'une locomotive à devenir un bon élément. Toujours s'arrêter au drapeau rouge et rester sur les rails quoi qu'il advienne. L'apprentissage est difficile pour la petite locomotive qui aime aller dans la prairie mais les enseignements de l'école des locomotives triomphent toujours.
Samantha Pearson
Aug 13, 2016 Samantha Pearson rated it it was ok
I'm not sure if I 'like' the message of this book, however my little one does surely love it.
Staying 'on the tracks no matter what' instead of diverging from a predetermined path to explore....? Not the most inspiring message for children
Dec 13, 2008 Ronda rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
One of my favorites to share with my son--and one he and I both enjoyed when I had read it so many times that I could ad lib it on long drives--even when the book wasn't with us. :D
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