Is it okay to go back and edit a classic work of art to ensure it complies with modern mores? I know a couple Popes did it, and it is generally agreed today that it was a bad move, irreparably damaging art that can not be replaced.
I was directed to a flickr page this morning. Specifically to http://www.flickr.com/photos/kokogiak/sets/1425737/. It is a side by side comparison of two editions of the same book, one from the 1960s and one from the 1990s.
To me, the changes in this book are appalling, on the same level as re-editing To Kill a Mockingbird to remove the racial slurs, or taking the profanity out of Catcher in the Rye. Classics are classics, and shouldn’t be tampered with.
I am aware that its just a kids book. It’s not even one I had as a child, though I fondly remember the librarian in my school reading Richard Scarry to me when I was in Kindergarten. I always thought his name was cool.
They could have called the book something else. It would have solved all the problems.