thomas the train

This past week I found myself reading to my nephews. Their book selection happened to be Thomas the Train. I have questions.

The core value of the story (and of a couple kids books that I can think of off the top of my head) is busyness. Thomas the Train is highly encouraged to stay busy at work while he watches the other trains slack off. But at the end of the story it doesn’t matter that the other trains were slacking because Thomas makes up for the work that they didn’t do. And he did it by himself! These were the values that Thomas’ superiors rewarded him for: working, and doing the work by himself.

My questions are:

  • why is it so important to be busy?
  • why is it so important that we teach children (inherent in their literature) busyness?
  • should we be teaching children to put their head down and do the work their authorities tell them to? or keep their heads up and maintain a curiosity about the world?

%d bloggers like this: