- “Everywhere Babies,” a popular rhyming picture book, has been banned by a Florida school district.
- The book’s author speculates it was banned because of an image of one man embracing another in it.
- The author added that “Everywhere Babies” had previously been featured by LGBTQ children’s book sites.
A popular children’s book with illustrations of sleeping and playing babies has been banned in a Florida school district.
The Washington Post on Friday reported that the Walton County School District banned “Everywhere Babies,” a rhyming picture book published in 2001.
The book’s author, Susan Meyers, was inspired to write the book five months after the birth of her first grandchild. Meyers told the Post she speculates that the book was banned because there is an image of one man embracing another in it.
“I think there’s one illustration they don’t like, where it’s two men. But how do they see this, that any time a man puts his arm on another man’s shoulder, it means they’re gay? It doesn’t seem obvious to me,” she said.
Meyers added that “Everywhere Babies” had previously been featured on LGBTQ children’s book sites.
“It seems odd to me that this is banned, because it’s a preschool book, a family book,” Meyers said. “You read it to kids when they’re 2. But maybe they think we’re trying to indoctrinate kids from the cradle on. I don’t know. I mean, you can’t figure out this mindset.”
“Everywhere Babies” is part of a collection of 58 books that the Walton County School District removed from library shelves. Walton is the latest school district to impose a sweeping ban on books that are deemed inappropriate for children.
In the last nine months alone, nearly 1,600 books have been banned by school districts. Many of these books touch on themes of race, gender, and sexuality.
Walton did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
But in a statement to NBC affiliate WJHG-TV, Walton County School Superintendent Russell Hughes said “it was necessary in this moment for me to make that decision and I did it for just a welfare of all involved, including our constituents, our teachers, and our students.”
“I’ll continue to do those things and perhaps add some,” Hughes said.