Watch: Boston councillor reads his new children's book featuring a surprising subject

The book features the story of an exploited cow
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Politics, philosophy and economics are not typical subjects for children’s books – but one councillor in Boston put pen-to-paper recently to write one with a key message.

Boston Borough councillor Mike Gilbert’s book, entitled ‘Politics, Philosophy and Economics for Tots and Toddlers, with Ermintrude, a Cow’, is an allegorical tale which aims to “introduce children to concepts like wealth, power and privilege”.

It features the story of a cow looked after by children who equally share her milk. But along come a series of sinister authority figures who aim to exploit the cow for their own benefit.

The Blue Revolution councillor says he chose the subject because he wants to help both children and adults to “understand the system”.

He explains: “The book introduces children to concepts like power, authority, fairness and equality within the context of politics, philosophy and economics. It uses Ermintrude, a cow, as a way of representing the economy, and the adult characters as authority figures. This is not dissimilar to stories like the goose that lays the golden egg.

"Having previously published four relatively-simple books on politics, it became clear to me during the 2022 Boston Book Festival that people found the subject of politics too embarrassing to discuss.

"We all know how angry politics makes people, but to change a system that makes us angry we need to understand that system.”

Coun Mike Gilbert with his book 'Politics, Philosophy & Economics for Tots and Toddlers'.Coun Mike Gilbert with his book 'Politics, Philosophy & Economics for Tots and Toddlers'.
Coun Mike Gilbert with his book 'Politics, Philosophy & Economics for Tots and Toddlers'.

Despite being titled for young children, Coun Gilbert says he has written it for both adults and children.

"This book is an attempt to inspire an interest in political ideas, by getting adults, and the children they care for, to discuss very simplified versions of political, and economic ideologies and to think about the philosophical principles that might justify them,” he said.

The book was published and illustrated by Austin Macauley Publishers and Coun Gilbert says he has already been invited to give readings of it at local schools.

The book will be published on February 2. But is available to pre-order now via Amazon.

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