As kids' books go, it's pretty much the height of innocuousness. So no one was more surprised than I to learn of the recent controversy surrounding its re-release.
Publisher HarperCollins has just re-issued the newest edition of the book with a digitally altered photograph of the book's illustrator, Clement Hurd... to remove the cigarette from his mouth.
I don't know which is funnier, the ensuing media kerfuffle lamenting the overly PC age in which we live (and if you want to check out the extent of it, just go to Google and search the keywords "goodnight moon cigarette smoking smoke clement hurd"), or this revised version of the story:
In the great green room there was . . .
A cordless telephone
And a red balloon, non-helium and securely tethered out of toddler reach
And a picture of the cow jumping over the moon, with a warning label never to try this with cattle or indeed any animals without parental supervision
And there were three little bears, roaming freely in their native habitat, secure in their endangered-species status
And two little neutered kittens
And a pair of mittens, purchased from a Cambodian collective
And a little toyhouse with all potential choking hazards fastened in place by six-inch bolts
And a young and humanely captured mouse...
That's all I could cut and paste without feeling guilty. You'll have to read the rest here.