I've been trying to get to the bottom of the story about the Stalinized illustrator photo of Clement Hurd on the back of the newest edition of Goodnight Moon, in which the cigarette in Hurd's hand has been replaced by ... well, nothing. I'm told HarperCollins is "preparing a statement" and I will submit to you any received forthwith. But is the outrage genuine or is it, as Anastasia Krupnik once said, "just a thing kids do to be cool"? I mean, had they simply swapped the photograph for another, no one would have made a peep. I personally get more exercised about the fact that the trim size of the book seems to keep getting larger--the darn thing is supposed to be cozy, not plasma-screen-sprawling. Anyway, HarperCollins is (are, I guess, is how Chairman Murdoch would put it) already going to hell for colorizing Charlotte's Web, so, really, how much lower could they go?
But the whole dust-up makes me miss the late Bill Morris, Harper children's books library promotion director, terribly. Bill adored smoking, and I'm sure this is giving him a good laugh. Goodnight, Bill.