There’s a new children’s book in town, and it’s called Indy-Pindy. The author and illustrator is Kent McManigal–also known as the Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner, rogue advocate for sovereign individuals everywhere, and even former presidential candidate, although we won’t hold that against him. :-)
Although I hardly expected otherwise, I am happy to report that the book is very much worth a slot on your family’s bookshelf. Indy-Pindy, aka The Liberty Mouse, cuts a fine character and role model, who manages his adventures with class and sleeps well at the end of each day with his dignity fully intact. (A role model for us all!)
Brief as it is (I wanted the story to continue!), it’s pretty much “all in there”. Pick a liberty metaphor, a life lesson, a fundamental problem that each of us encounters in life, and Indy meets it–well. Of them all, I was most pleased to see Indy learn how unhappy others can make themselves when they give up their individual sovereignty to another. If I could pick one value to instill in my own children, just one, it would be that we can only be our best, to our selves and to others, when we fully own our own selves. Turns out that Indy is not only capable of taking care of himself, but he also is a great neighbor to others and benefits from his non-aggression. In short: Indy-Pindy is the kind of guy mouse you’d like to know.
I found that I really enjoyed the style of Kent’s illustrations as well as the text; there is a continuity and distinctive life about them that amplifies the words in the way that the best children’s books do. Nicely done.
In short, I am putting this book next to A.A.Milne’s original Pooh books (I think Pooh is a magnificent non-aggressor in the finest Robert LeFevre mode) and Gary Paulsen’s classic Hatchet (on which I’ve written in this column before), as another exemplar of non-aggression and the value of the individual that is available to kids as soon as they are able to follow stories at all. I daresay Indy-Pindy is as timeless as Pooh, and will age at least as well. (And Indy might be willing to help out with stuck honey pots, too…)
The book is available at CreateSpace for an eminently reasonable price, and it even has garnered its first independent review (I can’t claim to be fully independent myself, as I have known about Kent’s work for a little while now) that shares the enthusiasm:
We don’t recommend a lot of books in this space, particularly when the book is about fictional mice. Then again, not many children’s book characters teach so much about liberty.
“Indy-Pindy The Liberty Mouse,” the creation of Farwell libertarian blogger Kent McManigal, takes his readers on a journey full of challenging, real-life experiences that can all be solved with personal responsibility.
Nice work, Kent. Hopefully you are working on Indy’s follow-up, yes? Oh, and one other question: are we going to hear more from the lightning bug? :-)