children's books

Pearl’s Picks: Toot and Puddle Series by Hollie Hobbie

Toot and Puddle are some of my favorite characters from children’s books and that’s saying a lot. They’re up there beside Frog and Toad and Curious George. In fact, I’m surprised that they aren’t more popular and that I had to stumble upon them by accident (at the library of course) to discover them.

Toot and Puddle are the best of friends and live in a charming wooded area called Woodcock Pocket. Puddle is warm and thoughtful, loves cooking for company, and enjoys the comforts of home. Toot is the adventurous one who travels the world and easily befriends anyone. There are several books, but these two are our personal favorites.

Pearl loves Toot & Puddle. This is definitely the best one for new readers to the series.

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In this first book, Puddle stays at home while Toot explores the world. For a year the two go about their lives doing new things, and finding the depth of their friendship is not fazed by the long distance between them.

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Hollie Hobbie is a superior illustrator. The books have very little text, letting the illustrations tell the story. What I love about her work is that the illustrations show such a range of emotion. They are gorgeous, full of life, and convey so much emotional depth that it’s impossible not to love these sweet little pigs.

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One morning in November, Toot woke up and thought “It’s time to go home.”
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Yay, Toot’s coming!

What differs Toot & Puddle from Frog and Toad is that they’re not allegorical. They don’t have a painfully obvious moral to the story. They show what it means to have a best friend, capturing the joys and pains of friendship in a beautiful way without knocking you on the head with a singular lesson. But like Frog and Toad they are nuanced in capturing the depth and simplicity of platonic love.

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Yes, Puddle missed his friend.

A Present for Toot is one of the best ones, in my opinion.

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It was hard to find in hardcover, I had to buy it used for Pearl unfortunately, but it’s a great read so I didn’t hesitate for a second. In this book Puddle labors over what to get for Toot’s birthday. I won’t spoil it, but he goes on an adventure to find the perfect present and comes back with a special treasure.

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Going shopping made Puddle nervous.

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I was so glad that Pearl took a liking to them when I brought it home from the library and even happier when her mother said she loved them, too. Pearl tries to hug the little pigs when they get sad and it’s the sweetest thing.

I’m brainstorming some crafts to continue the reading fun further. Perhaps we might do something with a map of Toot’s travel destinations, or maybe I can whip up a cardboard Puddle. Stay tuned.

What are your favorite children’s books about friendship?

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