Tuttle Twins and the Miraculous Pencil
This is the second in the series from Author Connor Boyack with the. Connor takes Leonard E. Reeds classic book I, pencil, and turns it into a form that children can understand. Rather than focusing on liberty subjects, Connor creates a basic economics book for kids based on the Tuttle Twins. Connor has created a children’s economics book that is easy to understand. Allowing children the ability to explore concepts usually not seen till high school. Elijah Stanfield joined Connor again to illustrate this installment as well. The illustrations turned out wonderful and kept my sons attention through the entirety of the book.
I, pencil, the book that this is distilled from, comes from Leonard E. Read. Leonard was the founder of FEE, Foundation for Economic Education, a leading voice in Austrian economics and liberty. It is currently run by his son, Leonard W. Read.
The book chronicles the “family tree” of a pencil. Detailing what all goes into making one single pencil. It is a fantastic little essay that show’s how complex and rather stunning the economy is. It is great at inspiring awe in adults.
What about the Story
The story begins with the Tuttle Twins, Ethan, and Emily, going on a field trip with the rest of their classmates. The children are trying to figure out what awesome place they are going. The bakery, a candy factory, a farm? They show up to a pencil factory and are disappointed by this development. They begin the tour and meet one of the workers who tell the children that nobody in the world knows how to make one simple pencil. As a result of the children’s disbelief, the worker has the children list what goes into one simple pencil. After this exercise, he has them list what goes into each of those things that make up the pencil. Rubber, wood, paint, graphite and more. The worker then lays out what it takes to get each of these pieces and more.
The worker show’s the Tuttle Twins and their classmates how one simple pencil takes a gigantic amount of effort to make as well as resources from around the world. This leads to the amazement and wonder the kids experience knowing that one simple pencil takes people from all over the world to make.
What did Isaiah Think
As much as I like this book, this is Isaiah’s least favorite out of the original three Tuttle Twins books we have. He likes the Creature from Jekyll Island the most. This is not only because of the story but the area the story takes place in, as well as the creature. The creature kept his attention in that book.
In The Miraculous Pencil book, Isaiah really liked seeing the different processes that it takes to make the pencil that are illustrated in the book. At 5, he does have a grasp on what the economy is, however, this book would be best suited for those 8 and above. After reading this with Isaiah, he no longer thinks he can build a pencil himself and he is starting to see how gigantic an economy is. He is also beginning to realize that cooperation is what makes the economy work. He has worked this out with some of his own friends in creating a little barter economy of their own at times.
What did I think
It is a fantastic book. I read it before I read it to Isaiah and I believe it does a great job at distilling Leonard Reads insights to a much younger mind than Read had intended. I did realize while reading it that it would probably go over Isaiah’s head but I think he could definitely grasp some of the concepts in its pages. This is one of my favorite books, and that has to do with the importance I put on economics. It is great for those kids who are a smidge older than Isaiah, but I believe 4 and 5-year-olds like Isaiah will grasp some important points from it.
This seems to be a book that kids, as they grow, can turn towards to grasp more concepts as their minds become ready to receive it. The insights in it are deep, much like Leonard’s original essay. This book did a great job of getting Isaiah to ask questions. Most of these questions, at first were about what pencils were made of and what exactly those things were. After a few readings, he began to ask where other things in our house came from and how they were made. This lead to a conversation about how many of the things he has or wants are made by others in a different country in exchange for money. That conversation brought questions about Nerf guns.
My biggest critique is that it might not keep kids interests. While it is wonderfully written, it is the weakest in the original three Tuttle Twins books Connor has put out. My second critique is how long the book is. It is 50 pages long. At Isaiah’s age, 50 pages do not get read in one sitting. With older children, this should not be a problem.
Would I recommend It
I would Recommend this book even for parents with younger children. You may be surprised by what your children will learn from it. Kids can understand remarkable concepts before we realize it. If you are looking for a book that teaches the principles of sound money, this is it. If you are looking for a series that teaches children about liberty, this series is for you as well!
If you would like to purchase any of the Tuttle Twins books click Here. You can also purchase a combo pack with several free bonuses Here, it is a great deal plus You can get 25% off of your purchase by using coupon code PARENT
The Tuttle Twins series are considered children’s books on liberty, or as one person put it, libertarian books for kids. While this case can be made, they hold more important lessons than just that. The Miraculous Pencil is strictly economic in nature, while also indirectly mentioning liberty. The Tuttle Books are not just for those who are libertarian but for those who want their children to have a foundation in freedom but economic thought as well.
Leonard E. Reads original I, pencil.
Connor Boyack talking about the Tuttle Twins on the Tom Woods Show.
Connor also runs a Utah Think Tank called The Libertas Institute