Little Toot: 03/02/23
Little Toot by Hardie Gramatky (1939) is another, perhaps the first, picture book, about a tugboat. I read this book twelve years ago but back then, decided not to review it. Back then I had a four hundred or so backlog of reviews to write and post, and I suspect I was disappointed that the book wasn't Scuffy the Tugboat by Gertrude Crampton (1946).
Time passes and in all honesty, I'd forgotten about reading Little Toot. I was reminded of the book by a Mastodon user who said he remembered this book as a child and I promised him I'd review it. So here we are!
Where Scuffy is a sentient toy living in a world of humans, Little Toot is a sentient child tugboat from a family of tugboats. There are definitely humans, animals, and other creatures in Scuffy's world. Little Toot's world appears to more like the world of Cars, meaning sentient vehicles and no people. Although in the Disney short (1948), there are people, though they aren't the main focus.
Little Toot, then, is about a youngster learning the family business and needing to do some growing up along the way. He goofs off because he's young and unsupervised. He saves the day because in all of his parallel playing he has learned how to tug and he's small enough to ride the waves to pull the stranded ship into the harbor during the storm.
There are a number of other books in the Little Toot series. The second book is Little Toot on the Thames (1964).