July 15th, 2007

kelp circle

The Mini-Penis Scandal

Apparently cartoon breasts and a teeny-tiny penis are unfit images for American youth --

It is rare that a German book generates any interest in the United States. And children's books are usually completely off the radar. The delight was thus all the greater at the Hildesheimer Gerstenberg publishing house when a query came in from the American children's book purveyor Boyds Mills Press for a series by Rotraut Susanne Berner.

"It was really a sensation," Berner told SPIEGEL ONLINE. At first. As it turned out, there were a couple of changes that had to be made before the books could be unleashed on the America public. First off, smokers had to be removed from the illustrations. But that wasn't all. One image shows a scene from an art gallery -- and for realism's sake, there is a cartoonish nude hanging on the wall along with a tiny, seven-millimeter-tall statue of a naked man on a pedestal. American kiddies, obviously, could never be expected to handle such a depiction of the human body. The US publisher, somewhat awkwardly, asked if they could be removed.

The author and her children's stories are best-sellers in 13 countries, but American children won't see them, as she thankfully would not agree to these so-called revisions. Here are the offending images:

Shield your children!