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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Little Tug, written and illustrated by Stephen Savage. Roaring Brook Press, Macmillan. Raincoast, 2012. $14.99 ages 2 and up

"He's not the tallest
boat in the harbor.

He's not the fastest
boat in the harbor.

He's not the biggest
boat in the harbor."

This is another great book for early readers. The text is brief and accessible while telling a lovely story of belonging, and taking a role, despite your size. In an interview with Stephen Savage I read that his idea developed when his little girl was a newborn, and he recognized how tiny she truly was in comparison to her dad. At the same time, he was spending hours watching harbor action and admiring the tugs that attract so much attention. Voila! The two ideas meshed, and here we have the finished effort...a brand new book!

We are the lucky ones who will get to share it with boat loving family members, and perhaps those who are feeling a little small in the grand scheme of things. While Little Tug isn't the tallest or the fastest or the biggest boat in the harbor, he has his place. In beautifully designed graphic artwork, it is easy for young readers to grasp the comparisons between ships in the harbor. Although small, Tug does the job he was designed to do, and helps guide other ships to their rightful and safe places.

There is a lot for young readers to see as they watch Little Tug make his way along the river he calls home...high rise buildings, bridges, buoys, various types of water transport, birds, and skylines.  Then, when he needs help the most, those who benefited from his assistance come together to make his day better, too. It's a great bedtime story for the preschool set, while also offering some background knowledge about water transport.

A job well done, Little Tug!

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