Banned children’s books

Banned children’s books

Introduction

A large number of children’s books have been banned from the shelves of bookshops due to various reasons. The scenarios may be attributed to the controversial nature of the books, some unreligious aspect, content considered unpalatable for children and many others (Scales, 2015). The reason behind a ban may be attributed to nature of the ban itself in terms of the Geographic, political, social, cultural and religious states of the regions enforcing the ban. The following essay is a description of the ban of one of the most prominent and well-renowned children’s storybooks’ pertaining to reasons as to why it was banned and or considered controversial.

A.A, Milne and Shephard, E.H. authored the book Winnie the Pooh. The reading was published in 1979. The book features the adventures of talking forest animals, specifically the main protagonist with his excessive love of honey alongside his best friend piglet (Milne & Shepard, 1979). According to the University of Tulsa department of special collection website, at http://orgs.utulsa.edu/spcol/?p=3198  book was however banned from the shelves of many classrooms and bookstores all over the world. The occurrence was due to the following reasons.

Reasons why they were Considered Controversial

Religious Controversy

One well-known fact about the series is that it features talking animals. The animals talk and perform tasks well similar to that of their human counterpart, Christopher Robin. In fact, their deeds are akin. There is no distinguishing factor between humans in the story and animals of the story. The animals may seem much more than the humans may since a large portion of the story revolves around them thereby allowing the reader to relate to them more (Milne & Shepard, 1979).

This act of making talking animals perform human tasks has been considered a mockery of God and the purity of creation (Scales, 2015). Other titles such as Alice in Wonderland have faced bans due to some similar reasons. Although it is worthwhile to note that not all religions share this belief. The book continues to circulate in shelves of many countries to date. The scenario may be mainly because it teaches children some important life values such as friendship, sharing etc.

Controversial Nature of Pooh’s Sex

The basic illustration of Pooh bear features an all-yellow bear. Illustrations that are more recent feature Pooh wearing a red T shirt with no pants or shorts whatsoever. The illustrators drew him without genitalia. This has raised controversy as to which gender Pooh belongs (Scales, 2015). In some instances, he has been dubbed a hermaphrodite piglet. Piglet is undoubtedly Pooh closest friend in the Series. The illustration can be noted through the various adventures they undergo as a team and the various obstacles they face together. Piglet has made the series to be banned in many Islamic states that advocate against the consumption of pork.

It was believed that talking pig characters were considered an insult to the Islamic religion. Other titles that faced bans due to similar reasons include Charlotte’s Web and The Little Pigs nursery rhymes on the grounds that talking pig characters would be considered an insult to the Islamic and Jewish religions since one of their customs involves abstinence from Pork consumption or any other related products (Scales, 2015). Recent reports show that the Muslim council of Britain has issued a request for all the books to be returned to the shelves.

Relations with the Nazi

According to Scales (2015), this was one of the most interesting reasons as to why the title was banned. In 2009 the book was labelled “Pro-Nazi”” by the Russia Justice Ministry because there was a depiction of Pooh bear wearing the Nazi’s well-renowned Emblem a swastika that was discovered among the possessions of a well-known political extremist. The courts concluded that since one extremist has been identified with a Nazi Pooh, it is highly likely that others may follow (Scales, 2015). To this effect, the Russian government has banned the title and its related merchandise in the Russian region. Any child or person found in possession of such face strict consequences upheld by the Russian Government.

Personal opinion on whether I think it is appropriate to include it in a school or public library collection

The book should be made available to children. This is because it teaches some common values that need to be grasped at this early stage of development. This includes values such as friendship, love, keeping of promises, commitment, and many others. This is with the inclusion of many life values such as patience (Milne & Shepard, 1979). The life lessons are numerous and are covered at the BuzzFeed website at, https://www.buzzfeed.com/tabathaleggett/28-lessons-winnie-the-pooh-can-teach-you-about-lif-a0kl?utm_term=.agBxK3PEX#.hj64aMV63 . The book also features simple language and illustrations that may help young readers understand it clearly.

Conclusion

            Literary works are in danger of being banned. Children’s books are no different and have fallen culprits. It all lies in the controversial nature of the content that is contained in the book. Upcoming writers should take note of the above, and many other reasons as to why their works may be banned across some states. The authors should then work to ensure that their books are void of such controversial content.

References

Scales, P. (2015). Books under fire: A hit list of banned and challenged children’s books.

Milne, A. A., & Shepard, E. H. (1979). Winnie-the-Pooh. New York: Dell

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