(ISBN 0307020975) is a children's book
written by Gertrude Crampton
and illustrated by Tibor Gergely
. It is part of Simon and Schuster
's Little Golden Books
series. As of 2001
, it was the all-time third best-selling hardcover children's book in English.
The protagonist is Tootle, who is a baby locomotive who is attending train school, hoping to grow up to be the Flyer on the New York
route. His schoolwork involves such tasks as stopping at red flags and pulling a dining car without spilling the soup. Most important, however, is that he must stay on the rails no matter what. One day, Tootle leaps off the rails to race against a horse. He finds that he enjoys chasing butterflies in the pasture and picking buttercups, even though he has been instructed to remain on the rails. Tootle's instructors and the townspeople come up with a plan to make him stop playing in the meadow and stay on the tracks.