Ayn Rand Reviews Children’s Books -The Toast

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rand booksPreviously: Ayn Rand Reviews Children’s Movies.

Thomas the Tank Engine

When I ride on the 20th Century Limited, nobody touches a lever on the control panel but me. To ride a train is to take ingenuity itself as your lover; children should be given books about trains early and often.

All trains are important. Thomas the Tank Engine is the most important train that there is, because he believes himself to be so. Other, lesser trains attempt jealously to confuse him, to delude him into thinking he is no better than the rest. Do not listen to them, Thomas! Do not allow them to dampen the divine spark that illuminates your rear engine; do not allow yourself to be linked up with inferior box-cars who hang on to you and dog your steps and cause you to doubt yourself. You are the molten steam heart of America, the greatest country in the world.

I am not ashamed to admit that a tear very nearly came to my eye when the Controller told Thomas, “You are a really useful engine.” I have never been so moved in all my life, and had to light a cigarette. I named the cigarette Thomas.

The Boxcar Children 

I found the children’s decision to live inside of a train perfectly understandable. Later, they proved themselves worthy of their grandfather’s inheritance by winning a footrace. More captains of industry should withhold their grandchildren’s inheritance until they have lived in a train and won a footrace. Four stars.

Encyclopedia Brown 

I found this series about a boy who does not know his own worth less than compelling. “Twenty-five cents a day, plus expenses”? Set your value higher, boy.

I did, however, enjoy the fact that “no one gets away with crime in Idaville because of one boy.” All progress has only ever come from one corner – from the individual. The police in Idaville, rightly, exist only to prevent men from stealing from one another by force. An individual (God’s greatest gift to mankind was the individual) solves all other crimes through personal application, and is given money in exchange for his intellectual labor.

I imagine that Sally Kimball longs for nothing more than Encyclopedia Brown to master her physically, as he already does intellectually. Sally, you have found your equal and your mate; stand with him against the tides and rages of the universe, offer him your body as a votive and a sacrifice, and you will find you are standing on solid ground.

The Giver

The premise alone is ridiculous. I did not make it past the first page, as I found the title offensive.

Caps For Sale

An excellent little book. An enterprising salesman refuses to allow the vicious behavior of the mob to keep him from making money. The monkeys should have been hung to death in the very tree they mocked him in; to infringe on a man’s property rights is a capital crime against society.

Amelia Bedelia

This woman should be let go from her position. What can competence learn from incompetence? Why should Mr. Rogers, a man of worth and value, continue to employ this woman who lives in constant conflict with reality? The mind is the source of all values, and this useless housemaid has repeatedly demonstrated she is either unwilling or unable to use hers. She has no rights which any right-thinking man needs to respect; if she were to be set on fire I would not dirty my hands to save her. She is mere kindling.

Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever

It is always a good thing when a picture book attempts to show children different kinds of machinery. A steamroller represents the triumph of man’s will over topography. There could have been more cats and fewer rabbits and pigs in this book. Three stars.


These mice exist under conditions of the rankest collectivism and religious dogma. Altruism, sexual repression and vegetarianism rule the day. It is no accident that these toothless beasts eschew technology and everything that has lifted man above the life of a hunted animal; they are opponents of progress and of greatness. There are no trains in this story. They have seized the very concept of personal property and insist that all goods are to be held in common, which makes them no better than burglars. A vile little book.


A little girl contributes nothing and draws upon the welfare state. Disgusting. She creates nothing, earns nothing, learns the value of nothing. She is not worthy of the money that cradles her, and will undoubtedly lose everything as she gets older.

Mary Poppins

What sort of wages does this magical woman make? Why does she allow her unique and extraordinary gifts to be wasted on children, who have no money at all? Why does she permit them to associate with a public factotum, who has never mastered steel to his own will? Absurdities on absurdities. This magical woman should be the iron mistress of a steel foundry, or the consort to a leader of men, not tending to the worthless offspring of a visionless banker.


A man decides he is no longer bound by the rules of nature and creates a son and heir for himself out of valuable, durable materials. Wood is a very good material for a son to be made out of, provided the tree itself is sound and free from rot, and you keep him from getting damp. Four stars.

[Image via Darth]

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