Mighty Tug (Alyssa Satin Capucilli)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Mighty Tug, written by Alyssa Satin Capucilli and illustrated by David Mottram, a cute tale of a tiny yet tough boat.

As morning dawns over the harbor, Mighty Tug lets out a “CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG”, then gets to work. She has a busy job to do, guiding and towing the much larger boats safely around the docks and each other. She hauls great shipping boats and old fishing schooners, fast yachts and even a fireboat on its way to extinguish a blaze. And after a long day of hard work, she receives a wink from Lady Liberty, then looks out with pride over her busy, beloved harbor.

Simple yet sweet. The plot is very basic, looking mostly at a day in the life of a New York Harbor tugboat and the many different types of ships and boats that she interacts with, without much rising or falling tension. This isn’t a bad thing, and young fans of boats and other nautical craft will go wild over the adorable illustrations of Tug and her companions. In fact, I loved that Tug was given feminine pronouns; it’s nice for these “big vehicle” books to represent the machines as both male and female, and there’s something lovely about the metaphor of a little female ship having a ton of power to move around much bigger ships. The text is sweet, with plenty of onomatopoeia for little ones to enjoy, but the rhyme scheme was often very confusing and clunky, which made reading it aloud a bit difficult. Still, the length was good, and JJ seemed to enjoy it. This one had some choppy waters, but it would still be a treat for any young maritime enthusiast, so we’re calling it Baby Bookworm approved!

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