Friday, February 21, 2014

Day XIX: Stripped

In the past , I've discussed how some of my favorite picture book writing happens when authors strip their words to the cleanest, barest level. I think this leaves so much room for illustration and great book design to shape a manuscript into the best finished product it can be. Today, I have more to say on stripping submissions of...

Oh, I'm sorry! I just started writing on autopilot. When I wrote the title for this post, I immediately shifted into Acquisitions Editor Josh. For those looking for more picture book submission tips, you'll have to wait. This is an altogether different definition of stripping.

Every so often, there's a story in the book world that completely captivates me. I'm not talking about about the excellent manuscripts I read day in and day out, or the newest fiction that is hitting the shelves during the week. I am speaking to the stories that the world deems newsworthy, the moments that really keep us interested, engaged, and--at times--completely and utterly confused.

Today, I happened across one of those stories.

The New York Daily News reported yesterday that a group of booksellers and publishers in France bared it all in protest of one politician's efforts to ban a book titled Everybody Gets Naked. 

Ah, yes, a good ol' fashioned naked protest!

The picture book, Tous à Poil, is a delightful read that was published with intention to positively reinforce body image with children. Authors Claire Franek and Marc Daniau aimed to present bodies of human beings to children in a way that was representational of all sorts of different shapes and sizes. No two people are completely alike. And showing children that there's no reason to fear there own appearance is completely and beautifully admirable.

Unfortunately, the book has caused quite the uproar with France's UMP party, a conservatively aligned group. Party head, Jean-Francois Cope, read through the book on French television, proclaiming how ridiculous it is that anyone would want to show naked bodies to children.

In response to his cry to have the book banned, supporters of Everbody Gets Naked made it very clear how they felt about Cope's position. 

Yes, I think they have made their stance on banning this book perfectly and fantastically clear.

And that, dear readers, is how you fight for books.

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