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|Publisher||G. P. Putnam's Sons, Penguin Putnam|
Little Toot is a children's story written and illustrated by Hardie Gramatky, featuring a young tugboat who does not want to tug. Instead, he'd rather make figure eights in the harbor and bother all the other tugboats. But when he ends up all alone on the open water as a storm is rolling in, it’s up to him to save a stuck ocean liner.
The book (G. P. Putnam's Sons first children's book) has been continually in print since 1939. In 2007, in honor of what would have been Gramatky's 100th birthday, Penguin Putnam publishers rescanned the original artwork, added nine original full-color sketches by the illustrator, and brought back detailed endpapers so the book has been restored to its first-edition colors and vibrancy. Daniel Pinkwater and Scott Simon read and raved about the restored classic edition ("Hardie Gramatky never speaks down to children") on NPR's Weekend Edition in October 2007.
The story appeared in an animated segment of the Walt Disney Studios film Melody Time in 1948, with the story being sung by the Andrews Sisters, with Vic Schoen providing the background musical score. In this version, Little Toot carelessly disgraces his father (Big Toot) when he unintentionally causes an ocean liner his father was towing out to sea to crash into the city, and is banished to exile from the harbor as a result. Little Toot learns that he must give up his foolish behavior and learn to grow up in order to earn the respect of the other boats, including his father's. When Capitol Records produced a record with the Little Toot song, it was the first children's record to hit the 1,000,000 sales mark on Billboard, according to then-president Alan Livingston.
There was also another movie based on Little Toot called The New Adventures of Little Toot. It featured Samuel Vincent as the voice of the title character and was released on home video in 1992 by Strand Home Video.
Little Toot series titles
- Little Toot (1939)
- Little Toot on the Thames (1964)
- Little Toot on the Grand Canal (1968)
- Little Toot on the Mississippi (1973)
- Little Toot Through the Golden Gate (1975)
- Little Toot and the Loch Ness Monster (1989, completed posthumously by Gramatky's wife and daughter)