Little Toot By Hardie Gramatky

Little Toot By Hardie Gramatky

Little Toot By Hardie GramatkyIntroduction

The story “Little Toot” that was written in 1993, by Hardie Gramatky, is a story that was meant for children in the age group of 2-7 years. This is the age where in they are in their preoperational stage as they are not independent in case of understanding the story but will be assisted by others and would need to be attracted by imagination provocations. This story is meant to capture the imagination as well as impact children in a positive manner by giving a moral to the story or a message through the story. The aim is to deliver a simple concept of being hard working as well as not to underestimate anybody, and this has been done in a creative and capturing manner through a story of a tugboat (, 2010). The objective is to help the readers or children be entertained and absorbed as well as learn a positive thought. This relates to Piaget’s theory of subjective logic. It is based on basic concepts and helps children go ahead and imagine simple things like a boy having become a boat. It helps enhance their focus on shapes and lets them think about associations, friends and morals (, 2010).


The story “Little Toot” is a well written and creatively formed a story where in a boy who is in the form of a tugboat, presumes work to be a joke. He is involved in games and having fun. He does not focus on his tasks at all. In this situation, his friends, who happened to be other boats got irritated of his games that went on all day long. They did not appreciate him as he never did his work (, 2010). They also called him a “sissy” (, 2010). In this way, he was always looked down upon. He was dejected by other tugboats and so has had to drift away to the sea. He realizes his faults. In the sea he comes across a ship wreck. This is when he decides to prove his worth. He helps in this situation. In this way, he does regain a position in the tugboat community and also does not have to live in the sea anymore. He also makes his parents proud and is happy about it as he had made them feel embarrassed by being playful and silly all the time (, 2010).


This story aims at capturing a child’s imagination and involving him as the story is being narrated. It also helps to let children start visualizing and understanding through basics like shapes and concepts. Bringing objects to life helps children get more involved and understand incidents or concepts in an easier manner. It makes it possible for them to learn by example of non-living things which are presumed to be animated. They can associate several movements and actions and that also being carried out by non-living things easily. Animation is one of the best methods for children of this age group to learn as it not only depicts and explains actions, but also is extremely amusing and entertaining. It helps add to knowledge, ideas and thoughts.

This story helps analyze three different theories of child development. As per the intellectual development theory, children learn very rapidly and they are quick at grasping. The story caters to his theory by providing several instances where in a child is required to make logical connections in order to understand this story. This story caters to the need of children o learn and so provides them with concepts of requirement to work and not play all day long. It explains several things that children can grasp and learn in this age group of preoperational stage.

Moral development is also an important aspect of children learning and growing. Here, in this story, the author has used the concept of hard work as a moral and has also shown it to be the right way or the acceptable behavior. It has tried to explain to little children as to how important it is to balance work and play in order to be acceptable to everybody.

Social development is the most important aspect of child learning, cognition and development at this age, socializing itself is new to them. They are not in a position to clearly identify as to what is acceptable and what is not. Yet, they do understand that it is extremely important to be acceptable in order to be liked and appreciated. So, this story explains these concepts through facts like the playful tugboat embarrassed its parents and was looked down upon by other tugboats. Moreover the fact that the little playful tugboat was forced to drift away to the sea leaves a long-lasting impression on young minds about behaving in the right manner and completing their work in order to be accepted by friends and family (, 2010).

In this way, this story closely relates to several theories of cognition and learning in children. It focuses on their areas of interest and is successful at being able to capture their imagination to the best possible extent. Children enjoy this story as they get to learn and imagine as well as make several associations while listening or watching it in the form of an animated story. Actions, expressions, voice tone and color when added to this story leads to intense learning among children as they grasp the concept of hard work very quickly through the medium of this story.


To conclude, “Little Trot” is a well-written and engrossing a story that focuses on teaching children moral values, social behavior and intellectual learning along with entertainment. Though the story is a lot of fun for children, it does not fall short in delivering knowledge and concepts as well as creativity and ideas to children of age – groups of 2 to 7. At this stage, of preoperational learning, this story is a great benefit, especially to school going children who have been having to face a transition form playing all day long to having to put in some efforts in learning. So, this story helps children understand the need and importance of hard work and tells them that as they grow and need to become responsible, they also have to strike a balance between work and play. They cannot ply all day long, without completing their work, mainly consisting of homework, if they have to be appreciated and accepted by their friends and family. This brings in a lot of learning, which is in tune with several of the theories on child development.

References, 2010, as retrieved on August 24, 2010 from, 2010, as retrieved on August 24, 2010 from