Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Toot & Puddle: Top of the World

Hobbie, Holly (Author/Illustrator)
Little, Brown 2002. 32 pages
First published: 2002
ISBN: 9780316365130 (hardcover)
9780316033848 (paperback)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Puddle wakes up to find a note from Toot, saying he’s gone for a walk. When he doesn’t return all day, Puddle worries: “What if Toot tumbled into a hole and couldn’t get out? Or worse, Puddle thought, something even worse.” The theme of empathy, and the roles we adopt with one another, are authentically conveyed in understated language. Because Puddle knows Toot so well, he is able trace him—by train, then airplane—to the south of France. “Which way would I go, Puddle wondered, if I was Toot.”

Luminous illustrations use finely etched line and watercolour detail. Backgrounds are stunning, be they a sunny kitchen scene or a forest landscape at night. The pigs’ characters are well drawn: in one image, bold Toot hops in the lead. With wide eyes and bright grin, he is the picture of happy anticipation. Faithful Puddle’s ears are pricked, watchful and alert.

After a blustery journey up snow-capped mountains, Puddle admits he’s getting homesick. The final image shows the two friends, swinging in the hammock in their own garden. Children may recognize themselves and their own friendships in this genuine and sweet story.

  •  

    Discuss why it is important to tell a friend, teacher, adult or parent exactly where you are going. How do you think Toot felt when he got the phone call from Puddle?

  •  

    Survey the class to find out how many students have used the same modes of travel as Toot. Identify their different destinations on a map.

  •  

    If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Who would you bring along? What would you need to pack in your suitcase? Share your ideas with a friend. 

  •  

    Discuss the word whim and identify some synonyms. Have you ever done anything on a whim? Describe the experience to a friend. 

  •  Discuss why Puddle was worried about Toot. What does Puddle think happened to Toot at the start of the story? What does Puddle do to find his friend?
  •  

    Locate the region of Provence in France on a map. How far is it from where you live? How could you travel to get there?

  •  Identify all the modes of transportation that are mentioned in the book. Which ones have you used before? Which ones would you like to try?
  •  

    Make a list of important items to pack for a trip (e.g. clothing, documents, entertainment, snacks, toiletries, accessories).

  •  Design and write a postcard from Toot to Puddle. What would it say about his trip and adventures? 
  •  Check out the LES: How Do I Plan a Trip?
  • To communicate appropriately
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Geography, History and Citizenship