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Tootle (ISBN 0307020975) is a children's book written by Gertrude Crampton and illustrated by Tibor Gergely in 1945. It is part of Simon and Schuster's Little Golden Books series. As of 2001, it was the all-time third best-selling hardcover children's book in English.[1]


The protagonist is Tootle, who is a baby locomotive who is attending train school, hoping to grow up to be the Flyer on the New York-Chicago route. His schoolwork involves such tasks as stopping at red flags and pulling a dining car without spilling the soup. Most important, however, is that he must stay on the rails no matter what...Bill his good friend and teacher tells Tootle that trains are not professional unless they get 100 A+ on staying on the rails no matter what. One day when Tootle is practicing the rule a horse challenges him to a race to the river. Tootle goes faster but loses his race lead to the horse when he turns a curve so he gets off the tracks and ties with the horse. In the days that follow Tootle becomes fond of playing in the meadow and not staying on the rails, and Bill quickly discovers what Tootle has been doing. Not wanting to take away Tootle's chance at being a Flyer, Bill concocts a plan with the mayor to put Tootle back on the tracks. One day when Tootle is driving on the railroad, he hops off the tracks to play in the meadow but sees red flags everywhere in the grasses. He grows frustrated at having to stop at red flags; trains hate nothing more than stopping. Tootle then sees Bill with a green flag over the rails. Having learned his lesson, Tootle gets back on the track and says that playing in the meadow only brings red flags to trains. In response to the lesson learned the town cheers for him and rewards Tootle the Flyer the route to Chicago. In the days that follow, when Tootle becomes elderly, he teaches some new locomotives some advice including "Stay on the rails no matter what."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Roback, Diane; Britton, Jason, eds. (December 17, 2001). "All-Time Bestselling Children's Books". Publishers Weekly 248 (51). Retrieved October 2013.