Singapore moves racist children’s book to library parents’ section after review

The cover of the Chinese-language picture book. Image: Umm Yusof/Facebook
The cover of the Chinese-language picture book. Image: Umm Yusof/Facebook

A Chinese-language children’s book criticized for its racist narrative will return to public library shelves but this time in the adults’ family and parenting section. 

The National Library Board revealed this today after concluding a three-month internal review of Who Wins? by author Wu Xing Hua, encouraging parents to use it to educate their children about bullying and correct any misconceptions they may have. 

“Parents and guardians can make use of this book to discuss how children can deal with bullying in schools and correct any potential misunderstandings that children may have,” the board said, adding that it had taken into consideration public feedback and the views of its library consultative panel during its review. 

The book was not in the said section when Coconuts checked the public library in Tampines. 

The Family and Parenting section of the public library in Tampines. Photos: Coconuts
The Family and Parenting section of the public library in Tampines. Photos: Coconuts

Publisher sorry if readers ‘misunderstood’ racist book for Singapore’s kids

The book stirred controversy in July after someone who borrowed it highlighted the book’s portrayal of a school bully as a “smelly” dark-skinned boy with “head of oily curls” while other characters were fair-skinned. In the book, the bully named Mao Mao would order a student to do homework, buy food, and give him a bloody nose. 

Publisher Marshall Cavendish Education ceased the sale and distribution of the book amid the online backlash and also apologized for the “misunderstanding” caused to readers. 

The book was originally meant for children 7 to 9 when it was published in 2018 as part of a series of stories that inculcate life lessons called Amazing Adventures Of Pi Pi. 

Other stories you should check out:

Publisher sorry if readers ‘misunderstood’ racist book for Singapore’s kids

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CITY: SINGAPORECATEGORY: NEWS

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