Everywhere Babies book by Susan Meyers and Marla Frazee banned by Walton County school district in Florida. Why is this happening America?
Since its publication in 2001, “Everywhere Babies” — a whimsical, lyrical ode to infancy, illustrated by Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator Marla Frazee — has become a staple of family bookshelves, a common recommendation in new parent groups, and a celebrated title on Best Books lists.
But for the first time in its history, “Everywhere Babies” was featured this week on an entirely different kind of list: The book was among dozens of works recently banned from public school libraries in Walton County, Fla. School district officials confirmed the removal of the books to WJHG-TV in Florida. Walton County School Superintendent Russell Hughes told the outlet that 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.”
Hughes did not respond to requests for comment from The Washington Post. A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Education referred questions to Walton County, noting that “individual school districts are responsible for making these decisions,” and did not respond to follow-up questions.
The decision made Walton County the latest jurisdiction to join a growing number of communities across the country that have sought to ban books that address subjects such as race, LGBTQ people, sex or other topics deemed offensive by the books’ critics. A slew of titles — many of them classic and award-winning works of children’s and young adult literature — have been stripped from shelves in school buildings and public libraries in states including Texas, Montana, Louisiana and Florida.