The boats are coming for us

Several boxes of children's books came in the Shelf today.  As we were sorting through them, I found my attention drawn to one in particular:
 This is one unhappy tugboat.  Why?  
Probably because the flora and fauna won't leave him alone.

You know how sometimes you hear a word that you either didn't know before or hadn't heard for a long time, and then, all of a sudden, it keeps turning up?  Well, it wasn't long before I came across this book:

Naturally (most natural thing in the world), I immediately thought of this book:

Then I began to wonder if there were other literary tugboats out there having adventures and spreading smoke and steam and germs and such.  Indeed there are.  I found that there are tugboats named Toot, Theodore, Ted, Toby, Tubby, Tuggy, Tuffy, Scuffy, and, inexplicably, Mavis.


There are also unnamed tugboats, but with personalities nevertheless:

This tugboat favors a sort of Beatles-style haircut

And then there are just tugboats:


I noticed, and you may have, too, that most of these tugboats are anthropomorphized, whether they have been christened or not.  Well, as my train of thought careened down mountains and across wooded valleys, I began to wonder if other seaworthy craft of literature had been treated likewise.  Apparently not.

We got canoes aplenty:



We got rafts:


But these water-going conveyances are just what they appear to be.  They do not suffer from depression or upper respiratory tract infections; they do not sport trendy hairstyles or clever nicknames.  There are no canoes named Cubby or Candy or Carlos or Alyssa.  There is no Ralph the Raft.  I wonder why that is.

Until I figure it out, I will leave the subject for now with recommendations of some of my favorite books about boats.  I've mentioned some of them before, but they bear repeating.

My favorite sailboat story

My favorite canoe story, especially the edition 
illustrated by Edward Ardizzone

My favorite punt story; in fact, probably my favorite boat story ever.
Read it.  Read it now.


Shannon said...

Oh hahaha I laughed immensely. You're so right! Maybe it's because Tugboats work so hard, and those other craft only sit there and get paddled around.
Why, though, WHY do they sneeze? And sport haircuts? And have names like Mavis???

Adrien said...

Amazing. I do wonder if maybe there are other watercraft (yachts or cruise ships, maybe) that get to have haircuts and feelings and names like Mavis. Or maybe tugboats really are that special.

On a slightly related note, I wonder what did happen to Toby Tugboat and if the Tugboat Twins were able to find him in Sydney Harbor.

Shannon said...

Yes, that has been plaguing me all day. And I feel bad for Tubby. Although I guess he hasn't been TOO forgotten if they wrote a book about him.
Also "Just a Tugboat" wins for best title. Like it's pushing against all the other tugboat stories that anthropomorphize tugboats.

Janeite42 said...

Don't feel bad for Tubby. He doesn't even feel bad for himself, as evidenced by the big grin on his face. He was probably glad to be forgotten, because now he can goof off instead of doing his job.

As for Toby, he's one of the twins in the title, so I shouldn't worry about him, either. (It's my suspicion he was off playing with Tubby.)

Megan said...

What makes people want to anthropomorphize everything? I guess kids do that with animals, but boats? And usually large vehicles and crafts are referred to as female, but these are all male (I may have missed a female boat but I have to use the bathroom and I don't feel I have time to check. Time is of the essence!).

You are funny. I'm glad you're our mom.

I want a kayak, and plenty of opportunities to use it.