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Challenged Picture Books

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This list contains picture books that have been challenged.  It is not a comprehensive list; please refer to sources such as NCTE’s Intellectual Freedom Center or ALA’s Banned & Challenged Books for more information.  The main page of this guide also includes resources for further research.

The Amazing Bone  —  William Steig, 1976
On her way home from school, Pearl finds an unusual bone that has unexpected powers.

And Tango Makes Three  —  Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, 2005
At New York City’s Central Park Zoo, two male penguins fall in love and start a family by taking turns sitting on an abandoned egg until it hatches.

Crow Boy  —  Taro Yashima, 1955
Chibi’s classmates come to appreciate his special knowledge and talent.

Daddy’s Roommate  —  Michael Willhoite, 1990
A young boy discusses his divorced father’s new living situation, in which the father and his gay roommate share eating, doing chores, playing, loving, and living.

Guess What?  —  Mem Fox, 1990
Through a series of questions to which the reader must answer yes or no, the personality and occupation of a lady called Daisy O’Grady are revealed.

Halloween ABC  —  Eve Merriam, 1995
A poem for each letter of the alphabet introduces a different, spooky aspect of Halloween.

Heather Has Two Mommies  —  Leslea Newman, 1989
When Heather goes to playgroup, at first she feels bad because she has two mothers and no father, but then she learns that there are lots of different kinds of families and the most important thing is that all the people love each other.

I Am Jazz — Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, 2014
From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl’s brain in a boy’s body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn’t feel like herself in boys’ clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way.

In Our Mothers’ House  — Patricia Polacco, 2009
Three young children experience the joys and challenges of being raised by two mothers.

In the Night Kitchen  —  Maurice Sendak, 1970
A little boy’s dream-fantasy in which he helps three fat bakers get milk for their cake batter.

King & King  —  Linda de Haan & Stern Nijland, 2000
When the queen insists that the prince get married and take over as king, the search for a suitable mate does not turn out as expected.

Little Black Sambo  —  Helen Bannerman, 1899
A little boy in India loses his fine new clothes to the tigers, but while they dispute who is the grandest tiger in the jungle he takes his fine clothes back again.

Mommy Laid an Egg  —  Babette Cole, 1990
Two children explain to their parents, using their own drawings, where babies come from.

Skippyjon Jones series  — Judy Schachner, 2003-2014
Skippyjon Jones is a Siamese kitty boy who things he’s a Chihauhua. He may have big ears, but he has an even bigger sense of adventure. (challenged for depicting stereotoypes of Mexican culture)

Strega Nona  —  Tomie dePaola, 1975
When Strega Nona leaves him alone with her magic pasta pot, Big Anthony is determined to show the townspeople how it works.

The Stupids  —  H. Allard & J. Marshall, 1974-1989
The Stupids are a nice, typical, suburban American family except for one thing. None of them has the sense God gave a lemon. When Stanley Stupid discovers that someone has swiped the Stupid family garbage right off their curb, he decides to take matters into his own bumbling hands and catch the evil litter looter himself.

This Day in June — Gayle E. Pittman, 2014
A picture book illustrating a Pride parade. The end matter serves as a primer on LGBT history and culture and explains the references made in the story.

Where the Wild Things Are  —  Maurice Sendak, 1963
A naughty little boy, sent to bed without his supper, sails to the land of the wild things where he becomes their king.

Where’s Waldo  —  Martin Hanford, 1987
The reader follows Waldo as he hikes around the world and must try to find him in the illustrations of some of the crowded places he visits.