Skip Navigation
NPR News
thumbnail ()

A Children's Classic 'Toots' Back to Bookshelves

Oct 26, 2007 (Weekend Edition Saturday)

See this

'Little Toot' Book Cover

Hear this

This text will be replaced
Launch in player

Share this


In 1939, Hardie Gramatky saw a little tugboat in New York's East River that was struggling to move.

The tugboat proved an inspiration for Gramatky, an artist who was also an illustrator for Walt Disney Studios in the late 1920s. Gramatky painted several watercolors of the tugboat and gradually wrote Little Toot, now a children's classic.

In honor of what would have been Gramatky's 100th birthday, Penguin Putnam is reissuing a restored version of Little Toot, reviving the rich colors that were diminished in subsequent editions. The book also features full-color manuscript sketches, and reintroduces parts of the book's original bindings.

Like The Little Engine That Could, the story of Little Toot is a tale of overcoming fear. Known as Little Toot for the small "toot, toot" sound emitted from his whistle, the tiny tugboat learns quickly that he must give up childish ways in order to win the respect of other boats. Soon Little Toot is on the high seas, rescuing an ocean liner during a storm.

Scott Simon and Daniel Pinkwater preview the newly released version of the children's classic.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Read full story transcript

Missing some content? Check the source: NPR
Copyright(c) 2014, NPR

Visitor comments

on:

NCPR is supported by:

This is a Visitor-Supported website.