Naughty and nude: Pre-school book shocks parents
A CLASSIC children's book with nude illustrations has left one Sunshine Coast dad shocked.
Concerned dad Adam Newport took to social media to express his surprise at the classic children's book Mr McGee and the Biting Flea, by Pamela Allen.
The book, designed for pre-schoolers, tells the story Mr McGee who took his kite down to the beach but is bitten repeatedly by a flea, tearing off his clothes to rid himself of the pesky creature.
"Ok just read this book to Master 5," Mr Newport wrote on Facebook.
"It's his library book for the week.
"Is this an appropriate book for Prep age? How many of you mums and dads have seen this book?"
Mr Newport, who said he had not seen the book before, was surprised by what he came across.
"I just wasn't expecting that," he said.
People across the Sunshine Coast jumped to the defence of the classic pre-school book.
"My daughter loves Pamela Allen books," Lauren Woodham said.
"It's just a penis. A part of the human body!"
"... kids don't give a crap about sexuality at such a young age," Jess Thompson wrote.
"Even when they ask stuff like 'why is my willy different to mummies willy?' - it's just biological curiosity not sexual curiosity."
Rosie Astley pointed out that even though she had read the book as a child, she had never noticed Mr McGee's genitals.
"This is the first time I've noticed the penis..." she said.
Do you think Mr McGee and the Biting Flea is inappropriate?
This poll ended on 27 July 2017.
Yes, of course - it depicts a nude grown-up.
No - kids that age don't see nudity as taboo
I'm in two minds, but if the school assigns it it must be OK.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
A handful of people shirked the book, with one school removing it from their library altogether.
"My school has removed it from the library due to previous parent complaints," Belinda Hamilton said.
"I figure it's not worth the drama. There are plenty of great books available that don't require debate about their suitability."
Other parents took the opportunity to bring up other children's books that caught them by surprise.
Samantha Todd found a book belonging to her daughter confronting, with the main character the modern symbol for depression.
"We have this book. My kids love it (6 and 4)," she said.
"Her book black dog on the other hand has me a little confused."
Another mum pointed out another crass children's book - and just how much her kids enjoyed it.
"You wanna read 'The mole who knew it wasn't his business', about a little mole on a hunt to find out who pooed on his head," Chrissy Bailey wrote.
"My daughter took it to kindy, the teachers and children loved it."
In 2010, a parent complained to Penguin Books Australia to complain about the cartoon penis in Pamela Allen's classic storybook.
Penguin issued a statement responding to the parent of behalf of Ms Allen's publisher.
Hi Melinda, thank you for posting your concerns about Mr McGee and the Biting Flea by Pamela Allen.
"We understand your point of view and realise that every book we publish is going to arouse a variety of opinions," the statement said.
"It seems to us that it's not necessarily a case of appropriateness, but one of interpretation.
"For as many readers who feel uncomfortable with the illustrations in Mr McGee and the Biting Flea, there are many more who appreciate Pamela's very deliberate intention here to be open and natural.
"Of course we respect your opinion, and thank you for being interested enough in our books to take the time to write.
"We trust that past and future Pamela Allen titles will still have a place on your bookshelf."