There's good news and bad news in the world of children's books.
First, the good news: And Tango Makes Three, a picture book for 4- to 8-year-olds about two penguins who are into homosexual “parenting,” is the “most challenged” book on the American Library Association's (
This means some parents are still on the job and are not turning their children over to the tender mercies of the Free Sex Lobby, which effectively runs the ALA.
The bad news is that the
“When we started Banned Books Week [in 1982], hundreds of books annually were removed from libraries and occasionally bookstores. Last year, we had 40 removed.”
It would be nice to think there were fewer offensive books, but when you equate responsible, concerned parents with book burners, as the
To the Bee's credit, they quoted American Family Association President Tim Wildmon, who laid out the real agenda behind Banned Books Week (Sept. 29 to October 6):
“This is false hysteria created by the American Library Association. It's all fantasy land. Just because you remove the book from the school library because you deem it inappropriate for children to read does not mean that the book is banned in
Only 29 books were actually removed from library shelves in a year when 546 challenges were reported. The vast majority of successful challenges involved reclassifying books from children to youth, or youth to adult.
That doesn't matter to media favorite Krug, who has taken up mind reading: “Every time there is a formal challenge, the final intent is to ban the book,” she told the Bee.
The Chicago Tribune supported Banned Books Week with a commentary on October 6 by Sharon Coatney, a past president of the American Association of School Librarians, who begins by saying, “I don't think I've ever met a children's book I didn't like!”
Really? Perhaps it's time to launch the Junior Jihad series.
Coatney concedes that parents should have input about what their own children read, but “should not and cannot direct the choices of other children.”
Sounds good, but translated it means that professional librarians like her get to make all decisions about what's on the shelves.
This is why school libraries are minefields studded with abominations like Robie Harris' Perfectly Normal. This lavishly illustrated book, endorsed by Ann Landers, contains pornographic cartoons of frontal nudity, kids masturbating, and crackpot assertions such as: Greek homosexuals made better soldiers than straight men. Enough librarians and politically correct parents have purchased Perfectly Normal to drive up sales to a reported million-plus. If sales start lagging, don't be surprised if they attach a “bonus condom” to each book cover.
On the whole, the media seem to have lost interest now that the
Not to quibble, but none of those books made the Top Ten list this year.
Here are some that did:
• The Gossip Girl series by Cecily von Ziegesar, in which
• Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories, which feature Satanism and a tale about a butcher who grinds up his wife for sausage.
• Robert Cormier's The Chocolate War, which includes obscenities and masturbation.
In mid-September, parents at a
Despite a paucity of evidence, Harmon showcased
Mr. Harmon noted later that the most challenged book in 2006 was “Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell's award-winning And Tango Makes Three, about two male penguins parenting an egg from a mixed-sex penguin couple.” Hmmm. Where else would fertilized eggs come from? Still, it's nice that Harmon acknowledges nature.
One detail missing in media reports is that the Tango saga, based on a real life story at
At the very least, librarians should move And Tango Makes Three to the adult fiction shelves. That might also jack up next year's Banned Book List, and elicit more media interest.