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Little Toot
Author Hardie Gramatky
Illustrator Hardie Gramatky
Cover artist Hardie Gramatky
Country USA
Language English
Genre Picture book
Published 1939
Publisher G. P. Putnam's Sons
Media type Print (hardback)
Pages 93 (unpaginated)
OCLC 180329

Little Toot is a 1939 children's picture book written and illustrated by Hardie Gramatky. It features Little Toot, a small young tugboat in New York Harbor who does not want to tug. Instead, he would rather play, making figure eights in the harbor and thus being a nuisance to all the other tugboats. But when he ends up all alone on the open ocean as a storm is rolling in, it is up to him to save a grounded ocean liner.


The story appeared in an animated segment of Walt Disney's 1948 film Melody Time; the story was sung by the Andrews Sisters, with Vic Schoen providing the background musical score. In this version, Little Toot disgraces his father Big Toot by recklessly (albeit unintentionally) causing an ocean liner - one Big Toot was towing out to sea - to run aground and crash into skyscrapers in Manhattan. Little Toot is banished from the harbor as a result. In exile, Little Toot realizes that he must "grow up" - in other words, give up his careless ways - in order to earn respect from the other boats...including Big Toot, who has been stuck towing garbage scows ever since that fiasco with the ocean liner. Then Little Toot gets his chance: another ocean liner gets stuck on rocks, beyond the 12-mile limit; since Big Toot and the police boats are bottled up in the harbor by a storm, Little Toot must single-handedly rescue the grounded liner...which he does. This version was also adapted into comic strip form in two issues of Walt Disney's Comics and Stories in September and October 1948.

When Capitol Records produced a record with the Disney 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.

An animated adaptation of Little Toot and the Loch Ness Monster was featured in Shelley Duvall's Bedtime Stories with Rick Moranis as its narrator.

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)
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