banned books week: banned picture books list

September 27, 2011

This is just the sort of thing that gets you banned, Martha. (**This book is not on the list, but this page always makes us giggle and it seems to me the sort of thing someone might object to if taken out of context.) 
(Image from George and Martha: The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends )

It's banned books week, which got me thinking about what PICTURE books have been banned. I'm familiar with most of the young adult and adult books on the list, but I have never heard an objection to a picture book.

After some searching, I found a few lists and discovered a few banned books that we have on our shelves:


From what I've read, people were afraid of a book that featured a child experiencing rage at his mother because such a concept had never before appeared in a children's book prior to 1960.


The original does have some racial stereotyping, but there are edited versions available with the offensive images and text removed. However, some argue that the entire series is a justification of colonialism and is thus "politically and morally offensive."

I also found some books I haven't read, but would love to get my hands on:



The Rabbits' Wedding by Garth Williams was controversial when it was first published because it shows a black rabbit marrying a white rabbit.


Maurice Sendak's In the Night Kitchen has been objected to because the little boy in the story is naked. Some teachers cover him up with tape or black maker. Might I suggest the ever popular and very flattering sharpie speedo?

Do you have a favorite banned book? 

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