Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Goodbye Moon

"Goodnight Moon," the children's classic by Margaret Wise Brown, has gone smoke free. In a newly revised edition of the book, which has lulled children to sleep for nearly 60 years, the publisher, HarperCollins, has digitally altered the photograph of Clement Hurd, the illustrator, to remove a cigarette from his hand. HarperCollins said it made the change to avoid the appearance of encouraging smoking.

In twelve blistering points, an op-ed contributor rips HarperCollins abject surrender to political correctness. Excerpt:

EXCELLENT start, HarperCollins, but why stop there? The text of "Goodnight Moon" itself is laden with messages that are potentially harmful to our youngest readers. At a minimum, these changes should be made:

A. Huge gilt picture frames have no place in the nursery, especially those that are not properly secured. Should these three little bears sitting on chairs crash down during the night, Bunny risks suffering massive head trauma. Suggested change: digitally replace with piece of lightweight non-toxic fiber art.

C. Tell me this rug is not made of the skin of a Siberian tiger. Suggested change: Digitally remove to avoid appearance of condoning hunting of planet's endangered species.

L. Penetrating injuries to the chest by knitting needles are not uncommon. Also, someone could lose an eye. Suggested change: Digitally remove. The quiet old lady is not getting paid to knit, anyway.


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