When asked, in a polite way, which book in the whole wide world would they like to see banned – set on fire, maybe; launched into space, even – which heinous, vile sick-making scribblings do you think American people chose?
Was it perchance a book on how to make bombs for terrorists? No. Would it be something where women get attacked and cut up written for entertainment purposes? Nup. Would it be maybe something communist or fascist or extreme? Something advocating violence? Something racist? Maybe – this is it, we’ve got it – something where children are taught that unless they do as they’re told they’ll end up in perpetual agony? You know, something like the Bible or the Koran? Nah.
The book most Americans want banned is the children’s story of two male penguins who bring up a baby penguin. What? Male? Penguins? Baby? What kind of sick filth is this, we hear you cry as you lean over holding your hair back to throw up the remains of your Wagamama ramen noodles into a toilet bowl that has frankly seen better days.
Yep, a book written to reassure children that there’s no such thing as a regular family is the book most Americans would want to see banned. And there you have it, readers.
Should you wish to avoid this book and protect your family from it (we hear that if you pass it in a bookshop First Defence spray – as long as it’s administered immediately – can sometimes do the trick), it’s called And Tango Makes Three, which if you read it backwards is actually a message from the devil.
In second place in the list of Books We Want Banned – as compiled by the American Library Association from its complaints boxes – is His Dark Materials, a children’s book that suggests that maybe – just maybe – God doesn’t exist. It’s a dark world out there. We might actually put a light on. Or a candle.