by Anneli Rufus
A lovely anti-homophobia picture book published in Berkeley has been withdrawn from two British elementary schools this month under pressure from Muslim parents.
King & King, by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland released in 2002 by Tricycle Press, the children's division of Ten Speed Press is a fairy tale about a prince whose parents try to match him up with a series of princesses, but he chooses one of the girls' brothers instead. It has been widely adopted in schools worldwide, sparking occasional protests by Christian parents in the US.
According to the British newspaper the Daily Mail, Easton Primary School and Bannerman Road Community School "had been using the books to ensure they complied with gay rights laws which came into force last April. They were intended to help prevent homophobic bullying." But the Bristol City Council "has since removed the books" after some ninety parents protested.
"The decision was made to enable the schools to operate safely' after parents voiced their concerns," the Daily Mail reports. The student body at both schools is 60 to 70 percent Muslim. We can guess that the Bristol City Council won't be rushing to adopt Uncle Bobby's Wedding, a new children's book published by Putnam in which two male guinea pigs tie the knot.