Sunday, July 28, 2013

I Saw a Naked Man

In a children's picture book. . .

It was The Emperor's New Clothes, but STILL.

When I was growing up, every copy of that book I ever read showed the emperor in his underwear, and that was quite scandalous enough.

This picture not only showed his completely nude backside, it was depicted in the most realistic manner, complete with a shapely physique and a tan line.

Good grief!

I could just imagine the SHOCK on the faces of the sweet little girls with whom I had intended to share this book when their innocent eyes beheld the naked man.  And what would their mother have thought of me?  Ugh!

I am enormously grateful that Emma read the book herself first and thus prevented disaster.  It's going back to the library, and I won't be checking out any others without going through them page by page and line by line.


Cay Gibson said...

Oh, dear! Now I'm worried about what you will have to say when you read my Cajun rendition of Little Black Sambo. :-0

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Really!! I remember reading this but the king was just flesh colored, no detail at all.

I have an old copy of Little Black Sambo, so old it's tattered. I saw they were selling it still in the museums but didn't look inside to see if it changed.

Wendy Haught said...

Hi, Cay! Well, congratulations on Little Black Sambo. I didn't know you had written one. That's great! As far as what you are worried about, I can't say until I see it. ;) However, you have already warned me, and that was the main issue I had with this version of the Emperor--no warning.

It's not that I condemn the naked emperor book for everybody. I can see where there would be some situations where it would be fine, but all of those would require that the parent know beforehand that the picture was there, so they could be prepared to handle the subject matter in a positive way.

In general, though, I don't expect such pictures in books intended for young children. I had planned to share the book with girls who are 5, 4, and 2, whose parents highly value modesty. As you know, there are plenty of gorgeous picture books out there where nudity is not an issue, so I will just replace this one with another.

I showed the picture to Herb and Nathaniel, and they both had the same reaction that Emma and I did, so I don't think it is just me be being a prude.

Hope this helps.

Let's meet for lunch at Jason's in Beaumont sometime soon. Bring Little Black Sambo with you! :D

Cay Gibson said...

You're on, girl. Probably be a year or so before I have it in my hands and I have no idea how the illustrator will handle it but he's never fully nude and I'm sure ill have a certain amt of input. I'm all about fig leaves personally. Thank goodness we have plenty of them in Louisiana. ;)