10 March 2011


It’s happened. The first complaint about the content of My First Dictionary... the book.

Fortunately, bookstore owner and blogger Josie Leavitt – who describes her encounter with an unhappy customer in the article “A Censorship Issue” over at Publishers Weekly – is the level-headed sort, and recognizes that it’s simply wrong to let one person decide what books other people can and cannot read.

But I can sympathize with her niggling feeling of uncertainty when faced with an upset parent. While part of me feels secretly thrilled to have enraged a likely member of the self-righteous brigade, I don’t set out to genuinely distress anyone. Actually, I began MFD with the hope of making you laugh. Not everyone will, and that’s fine. Humour’s a personal thing. That’s why there’s no point telling someone else not to find something funny.

I’m glad Josie seems to have decided to continue stocking My First Dictionary. And I’m also glad she’s the kind of knowledgeable and enthusiastic bookseller who actually engages with her customers about the content of books when they come to her counter.

As a special thank-you, I’ll have to use her name in the next MFD entry. I’m thinking of featuring infanticide, necrophilia and, even worse, a spot of censorship.