ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) - As children’s books go, this one is a bit of a departure: depictions of children running across a busy road with their eyes shut and a boy setting fire to his head.
“The Bad Book,” by Andy Griffiths, has also captured the attention of South Australian lawmaker Vickie Chapman, who wants it withdrawn from primary school libraries in the state.
“This book is completely unacceptable . . . and I urge all teachers and principals to ensure their school does not own a copy,” Chapman said Thursday. “It also could encourage children to participate in some life-threatening behavior.”
On his web site, Griffiths defended his book, saying it is a “hilarious and irreverent collection of cautionary tales and violent demonstrations that serves as a warning to children and their parents everywhere.”
But Chapman questioned what type of message it was sending to children.
“On one page of the book a child says to his mother: ‘Mummy can I run across this very busy six-lane highway with my eyes shut?’ to which the mother replies: ‘Well, I don’t know’” she said.
“The child later runs across the road with a picture of him getting hit by a car.
“Another page of the book states: ‘Little Willy took a match and set fire to his head. Said little Willy as it burnt, soon I will be dead.’”
The Bad Book was published in 2004 and was recently voted the favorite children’s book in Queensland state.