The cover of Little Tug by Stephen Savage immediately reminds me of classic titles like “The Little Engine that Could,” “Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel” and the newer title “Otis”. The retro feel of the font and the contrasting red tugboat with blue background promises traditional picturebook conventions that are just not realized as the story progresses. The text is good. Simple, meaningful. The illustrations, however, are rendered digitally and the classic feel of the cover dissipates into disappointment. I was hopeful with the title page–a full page blue spread with Little Tug a lonely red dot. But any symbolism and conventions were lost on me for the rest of the story because the digital illustrations lack any detail and nuances that make the classic picturebook so special.