18 November 2005
Because, you know, it's for the children
And, after all, that's all that matters, right?
In the great green room, there is a telephone, and a red balloon, but no ashtray. 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.
"Photoshop: Threat or Menace?"
The photograph of Mr. Hurd cheerily grasping a cigarette between the fingers of his right hand has been on the book for at least two decades. Kate Jackson, the editor in chief of HarperCollins Children's Books, said it only recently came to her attention, at a meeting to discuss how to publicize the book's 60th anniversary in 2007.
"We had a lot of copies out on a table, and all of a sudden we realized that in the photo on the back of the jacket he was holding a cigarette," Ms. Jackson said. The company was about to reprint the hardcover and paperback editions, so "as a quick fix, we adjusted the photograph" to eliminate it.
The text and the illustrations inside the book are unchanged, but it's just a matter of time before other children's stories are reprinted and updated:
(Via Lindsay Beyerstein.)Posted at 7:50 AM to Almost Yogurt
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