December 10, 2015

Tea Party chair calls for UN fund-raising book by Kermit the Frog to be banned


"For Every Child, a Better World"

“For Every Child, a Better World”

In today’s edition of banned children’s books, we bring you the case of teacher and Tea Party chairwoman Mary Carney, who wants For Every Child, a Better World, a children’s book “written” by Kermit the Frog, pulled from the kindergarten curriculum in Marshfield, Wisconsin.

The book, which was written in cooperation with—and as a fund-raiser for—the United Nations, covers “a number of global awareness themes” and concludes with “a two-page spread of people around the world working together to make the quality of life better for everyone.”

For the Los Angeles Times, Michael Schaub reports that Carney worries that “illustrations of hungry Muppet-like children without food” will be too traumatizing for children.

“Unfortunately in this world there is a lot of war and strife and poverty; I understand that,” Carney said. “I just don’t know how appropriate that is to be teaching that to five-year-olds.”

This argument is a bit different from the other objections we’ve seen and reported on this year, which were mostly from parents who worried that stories about alternative family structures—or a story of two kings in love—would corrupt their children, or parents who thought bad words in Of Mice and Men (namely, “bastard” and “Goddamn”) and “adult themes” in The Kite Runner dubbed them inappropriate for high school students.

A bit different but, well, maybe not that different …


Taylor Sperry is an editor at Melville House.