Even childrens books are going smoke-free

November 9, 2005

coverThe Using Books blog points to a Kansas City childrens’ book store, Reading Reptile, that is taking HarperCollins to task for allegedly doctoring the photo of Clement Hurd, illustrator of the childrens’ classic Goodnight Moon, on a recent edition of the book. It seems that Hurd was once pictured holding a barely visable cigarette and now the cigarette has disappeared. The Reading Reptile folks have put together Goodnight Reality, a Web site to protest the “censorship.” Though the comparisons to Stalin may be a bit over the top, I suppose you have to fight for what you believe in.

And lest I be accused of taking things too seriously, the Reading Reptile folks are probably being a little tongue in cheek about this. Judging from their “About Us” page, they’ve got a sense of humor.

Update: The New York Times looks at the Goodnight Moon cigarette controversy. HarperCollins plans to find a completely different photo of Clement Hurd for future printings of the book, so that no doctoring will be required.

created The Millions and is its publisher. He and his family live in New Jersey.

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