I sent this email today to Egmont Publishing:
Dear Madams and Sirs,
Er, what century are we in again?
Oh, that’s right, it’s the 21st Century. Where we have learnt that hitting children teaches them that violence is the answer, so we don’t do that any more. We understand, don’t we, that leading by example and positive role models is the best way to create a positive future for our planet.
So I was utterly horrified when I opened a Little Miss book yesterday evening, given to my four-year-old for her birthday last week, to find it promoting violence as a strategy. I started reading the story and almost choked on the words at the point where Mr Uppity, having been told a lie by nasty Little Miss Trouble, punches Mr Small in the eye. And so the violence and nastiness goes on.
Really, you need to get this book out of your back-catalogue and burn the remains.
I was dubious about the book from the start. A character who thinks it’s funny to bad-mouth people and tell lies about them? More characters who believe every bad thing they are told about a person and march off to rein violence upon them? And then a pair who, in revenge, gang up and torture the misguided instigator for an extended period of time?
“A taste of her own medicine?”
I think it’s time to revisit whether Little Miss Trouble really has a place in book shops. Don’t you?
I look forward to hearing your action plan.