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From the Man Who Did This Already, Already

Did anyone catch the shoutout to Maurice Sendak on The L Word this week? He didn’t, but allowed to me this morning that Jennifer Beals nekkid would definitely be worth drawing (I’m not being gratuitous; see the recap).

In any event, he was far more worked up about Susan Patron’s problems with a few librarians, having been there himself, and wanted me to tell you all how disgusted he was by the whole controversy. “This is such a putdown to those of us who spend our lives creating art for children. It’s acutely embarrassing to adults, and shows a complete lack of respect for children and their books, especially when you know children’s fascination with and candor about the body. Bravo for the lady who put it on the first page.”

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. >Accolades to Ms. Patron!

    What more could a writer ever hope for than to…

    1) Win a Newbury
    2) Become a controversial banned book
    3) Have Mr. Sendak side with you

    Man…I’m gonna sit right down and get back to work on my book! May the planets be aligned for me tonight! ….Congrat’s Susan…


  2. >It’s Newbery! Not Newbury.

  3. Andy Laties says:

    >Yes, M. You have a vigorous and entertaining voice. I wouldn’t be surprised if you DO end up needing Maurice on your side one day.

  4. >Mickey vs GI Joe:

    I recently gave a brief recap of the ongoing scrotum issue to my boyfriend, and he shrieked and grasped his genitals: “OH NO! Sounds like the people who made GI Joes have a blank spot of skin colored plastic where their penises & balls would be!” This wasnt a flip comment, he had real memories of how disturbing & confusing this was to him in childhood. IN THE NIGHT KITCHEN would have been wonderful for him to have had access to as a child.

    Censors of this type of material clearly are not remembering how troubling it is for kids to navigate the unnatural world of mysteriously missing words, images and body parts, and so often all on their own.

    – B

  5. >Roger–
    I was just looking at some F&Gs for May and came across If My Dad were A Dog by Annabel Tellis. (Scholastic) The art is sorta like Todd Parr but with photos of dogs photoshopped in.


    On one page, the dog is walking away and we can see a (rather small for a Labrador) scrotum. The next page has what appears to be the very same dog in the very same walking away stance with the balls gone. Photoshopped out I figure.

    Then a few pages later, we have the dog lying on his bag ready for a good tummy scratch, but, now he wearing PINK AND WHITE POLKA DOTTED BOXERS. It’s the only page in the book where the dog has on clothing, so it is easily noticed.

    I might not have noticed the missing parts except for the current chatter about Lucky, but I certainly would have wondered about the boxers. This book was first published in the UK. I wonder if the dog was clothed there as well.

    Just wondering.


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