Underwear Bomber Puts Kibosh on Kids Booktoddler-times
Even bestselling children’s book author Robert Munsch is no match for the terrorists. Munsch was working on a book about a little girl who snuck her favorite dolls onto an airplane when the so-called underwear bomber snuck explosives onto a Christmas Day flight.
Suddenly Munsch’s book deal may be blown apart.
Scholastic’s Canadian arm told the Toronto Star this week that they’ve delayed printing the book from the author of Love You Forever. Munsch told the paper the publisher called him up in a panic over the logistics – smuggling anything onto a plane now seems nearly impossible, or at least parents hope it is.
The issue won’t hurt Munsch’s career any – he’s sold millions of copies of Love You Forever and written dozens more books. Not scheduled to be published until late next year, the airplane story hadn’t even been provided to an illustrator.
As I see it, there are two ways parents can take the reaction – either publishers of children’s fare are over-reacting or they’re answering the question of how to keep children’s books relevant.
To be fair, a vast amount of kids books are based on flights of fancy – kids aren’t expected to take everything in them as literal (when’s the last time you saw a goose in boots, for example?). In putting the kibosh on the book, it’s almost as though parents can’t be trusted to explain to their kids that this is a story, not real life. While we present most stories as “don’t try this at home,” we’re being told this one is too important to leave room for interpretation.
On the other hand, is this issue too important? Kids are being treated like common criminals for everything from showing up with Play-Doh (gaaah) to having the wrong name. A kid who tries to follow their favorite children’s book and tote Dolly onto a plane could be facing some serious repercusions.
Do you think Scholastic is making the right move?
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