Scholastic pulls Washington book
George Washington Book Pulled Due to Controversy: Scholastic pulls Washington book
A picture book that depicts a slave and his daughter as happy while preparing a birthday cake for George Washington has been pulled from distribution by Scholastic. The book, titled “A Birthday Cake for George Washington,” received criticism from the moment it was released with many claiming it sugarcoated the cruel and violent history of slavery.
The book features a slave named Hercules, who worked as a personal chef to Washington. Hercules and his daughter, Delia, are shown happily mixing the ingredients for a birthday cake, which they then bake with pride. Each page of the book contains pictures of slaves going about their work with smiles.
New statement about the picture book A BIRTHDAY CAKE FOR GEORGE WASHINGTON: https://t.co/HWAgcWDmW1
— Scholastic (@Scholastic) January 17, 2016
“While we have great respect for the integrity and scholarship of the author, illustrator and editor, we believe that, without more historical background on the evils of slavery than this book for younger children can provide, the book may give a false impression of the reality of the lives of slaves and therefore should be withdrawn,” the children’s publisher said in a statement released to the AP.
A Kirkus review written about the book noted that it should not be seen in the same light as “A Fine Dessert,” a similar book that also received scathing reviews, because the Washington book was published by a diverse creative team as opposed to the all-white team that created A Fine Dessert.After consideration, Scholastic agreed to remove the book. The company stated that while it had respect for the writing, editing and integrity of the book, it lacked context on the realities of slavery, which could create a false impression with children.
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Scholastic Inc. is pulling a children’s book about George Washington and his slaves amid criticism that the book makes light of the plight of slaves in America. Wochit