Toot and Pop!

Toot and Pop! illus. by author. 32p. HarperCollins/Harper. May 2012. Tr $12.99. ISBN 978-0-06-207750-9.
PreS-Gr 1—Pop, an industrious tugboat, loves safely guiding the big boats from the harbor out to sea. When he meets enormous Toot, he's excited to help him, but arrogant Toot is sure he doesn't need assistance. He powers up and heads out alone, but all he manages to do is create havoc in the harbor and crash into the seawall. A chagrined Toot is scolded by the harbormaster and pulled into dry dock by Pop, who graciously accepts the bigger boat's apology by saying, "That's what friends are for." The text is incorporated into the illustrations by virtue of its placement, and large fonts are used for emphasis. Braun's uncluttered illustrations feature thick black lines, bright colors, expressive eyes, and understated smiles and frowns. The characters' eyes and speech are reminiscent of Thomas the Tank Engine and therefore might have a built-in fan base. A simple, straightforward story with an uplifting message.—Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH
Ocean liner Toot disdainfully rejects little tugboat Pop's assistance around the harbor. Of course, Toot's arrogance leads to an accident, and the now-humbled ship learns a lesson. The facile story sails close to condescending, but young mariners will be buoyed by Braun's cheery illustrations, which give the boats (and the waves, a lighthouse, a crane, the sun, etc.) lots of personality.

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