written and illustrated by Sebastien Braun
The opening spread in this new picture book is a wordless view of the harbor, with Pop, the small little tugboat is speeding across towards the lighthouse. All the boats, the crane, the helicopter, the lighthouse - everything - has a little face upon it. The brightly colored row houses along the shore seem reminiscent of Copenhagen or Portland, Maine. (Braun is French and lives in London, according to his website.)
Pop works in the harbor. One day, an enormous boat, Toot, comes to the harbor. Pop explains, "It is my job to help you around the harbor." But Toot laughs him off, "You!...I'm big and strong. I don't help from anyone, especially you!"
Famous last words, those. After Toot crashes into the seawall, causing all kinds of problems for himself and others, Pop still comes to his rescue. Toot learns his lesson and a friendship is forged.
The illustrations are awesome. I read this one night with an adult friend and we were both oohing and ahhing over the simplicity of the art. I don't know what media the images in Toot and Pop! were made in, but Braun's website shows he works in diverse formats. Everything from the cover to the title page to the bright orange endpapers is awesome here. Enjoy with your littlest ones!