Tootle--A Wonderful Little Golden Book

Aug 3, 2001
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:cute story, nice illustrations, a Little Golden Book


The Bottom Line: Tootle is a cute story with nice illustrations, but it's also a lesson to teach children.


About a month ago when I was wandering through my local $1 Store (If you read my reviews regularly, you’ll know I spend way too much time and money there!) when I hit the jackpot.

When I say I hit the jackpot, I mean that I actually found a great product (several, actually) for only $1. On this particular trip, the treasure I went home with was a variety of Little Golden Books.

When I saw them sitting on the shelf I got excited. When I saw the variety of offerings I was ecstatic!

I was able to pick up the books “Tootle,” “The Saggy Baggy Elephant,” “Where to Kisses Come From?,” “Just a Bad Day,” and “This is My Family.” The two latter books are by the well-known children’s author Mercer Mayer, and the two prior are classic books dating back to our grandparents’ childhoods.

Tootle: The Nuts and Bolts

Gertrude Crampton is the author of “Tootle.” I was unfamiliar with her name, as her writing was done a bit before my time, but upon searching the Internet I discovered that she had also written the beloved Little Golden Book “Scuffy the Tugboat.”

Tibor Gergely is the illustrator of this children’s book, and he also teamed up with Ms. Crampton on “Scuffy the Tugboat.” These are just two of many Little Golden Books he has worked on.

Tibor Gergely’s illustrations in this book are colorful, but not overpowering. They’re detailed, but not overdone. His illustrations are very much what one would expect of a book this old.

Publisher and Copyright

Golden Books Publishing, Inc. of New York, New York is the publishing house responsible for bringing us “Tootle,” as well as all of the other Little Golden Books.

This books original copyright date is 1945, though that copyright was renewed in 1973.

For anyone not familiar with Little Golden Books, these books are 6.5 inches wide and 8 inches tall. They are bound in metallic gold foil imprinted with pictures.

This book has 24 pages, and some of those pages contain quite a bit of writing. It will take you a while to read this one to your children, or for them to read it to themselves!

Tootle: The Story

“Tootle” is the story of a small train named Tootle and his education in the Lower Trainswitch School for Locomotives, where all little trains learn how to be big trains.

Tootle studies hard at his lessons, which include such things as Puffing Loudly When Starting, Clicking and Clacking Over the Rails, Stopping for a Red Flag Waving, and (most importantly) Staying on the Rails No Matter What.

While out practicing his lessons next to the meadow, Tootle gets distracted and decides to leave the tracks and play in the meadow. He starts leaving the tracks more and more to play in the meadow, devoting less time to his studies.

Finally, Bill the Engineer and the Mayor Himself come up with a plan to get Tootle back on track for good. With the help of the citizens of Lower Trainswitch, they show Tootle that getting off track isn’t as much fun as he thought and that good things come to those who stay on track.

Tootle learns his lesson and grows up to be a grand Flyer, and he teaches all the young trains at the Lower Trainswitch School for Locomotives the importance of Saying on the Rails—No Matter What!

My Thoughts

I usually don’t try to read too much into a children’s storybook, but there is a real lesson to be learned here. This book, in a fun way, teaches children the importance of focus and concentration, and how they will succeed if they work at their studies.

It’s an entertaining read for children also, as they giggle at the thought of trains going to school or jumping off the tracks to race a horse!

My youngest son (age two) is a train lover, and this book is a favorite of his. He packs it around the house with him for the bulk of the day, flipping through the pages and whistling along with the trains. He even takes this book to bed with him and looks through the pages while he settles into go to sleep.

I am thrilled to have a book my son loves so much, though it does give me a headache to read it to him. He insists on ‘toot-tooting’ the entire time I’m reading it. He does so loudly, and not nearly far enough away from my ears. Oh how we mothers suffer for our children’s joy!


This book is a fantastic addition to any child’s library.

I would recommend it for all young children, girls and boys alike. It is especially good for those children with a profound love of trains, like my son.

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