This post has been updated and reframed to remove editorializing about the ABRAMS decision.
ABRAMS Books has ceased publication of Bad Little Children’s Books.
Originally published earlier this year, the collection offers parodies of famous children’s book covers from pseudonymous author Arthur C. Gackley. Although positively reviewed by critics, the book has come under fire from some for being offensive. On Sunday, Abrams Books issued a statement explaining the thinking behind the book, but still decided to cancel further publication per a request from the unnamed author.
“When first released in September 2016, Bad Little Children’s Books received glowing reviews,” ABRAMS noted in a statement, citing reviews from The Huffington Post, Washington Post, and other publications. “We, and the book’s author, are deeply saddened that Bad Little Children’s Books is being depicted inaccurately on social media. We also hear the concerns.”
The publishing house added, it has “never nor will ever stand for bigotry or hatred. Those misrepresentations, aspersions, and claims surrounding the book, and the attempts to promulgate them, fly in the face of the values that our company and our employees hold dear.”
The statement continued, “We have a long record of publishing and promoting creative expression in many forms. We stand fully behind freedom of speech and artistic expression, and fully support the First Amendment. We have been disheartened by calls to censor the book and to stifle the author’s right to express his artistic vision by people we would expect to promote those basic fundamental rights and freedoms.”
As noted in the statement, however, “faced with the misperceived message of the book, we are respecting the author’s request.”
Read the full statement from the Bad Little Children’s Books author below.