The Problematic Ethnic Stereotypes Are Coming

I’ve been reading Where the Sidewalk Ends to my son, and I noticed a change in the poem about people coming to town to buy various sorts of children at various rates. It is called “The Googies Are Coming.” I’m fairly certain it was called “The Gypsies Are Coming” when I was a tot.

I can understand why one would want to change it, but the publishers kept the original illustration of a hook-nosed babushka with a big sack full of children. The net effect is that now the poem slanders some indeterminate Eastern European ethnicity. Possibly the good people of Guzhe, Lithuania.

I mean, what, “goblin” was too fantastical for a Shel Silverstein book?

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