Parents call children’s book ‘pornographic’

August 11th, 2011 by Staff

LEE COUNTY - Parents are speaking out against a controversial book on the shelves of Lee County’s libraries. The book “It’s Perfectly Normal” is meant to give children real answers about sex and their changing bodies. But the illustrations in the book are turning heads.

The book is so controversial that it’s ranked number 12 on the American Library Association’s Most Challenged Books in the country.

And in 2007, it made national headlines when a woman in Maine checked out every copy of the book in her hometown and refused to return them, calling it “pornographic.”

But it’s now at every Lee County library branch on the bottom shelf of the children’s section.

Jennifer McGuire’s four-year-old daughter loves visiting the Cape Coral library. She’ll roam every aisle, plucking out book after book.

“She’s definitely hungry to learn so she’s quick to pick up things that draw attention, like colorful books,” she said.

Luckily, McGuire says, her daughter hasn’t picked out “It’s Perfectly Normal.”

“It’s not appropriate for young kids,” she said.

“It’s Perfectly Normal” is causing local controversy after a six-year-old picked the book up in the 12 and under children’s section.

Her mom requested the book be moved.

But after a careful review, a library committee said it is appropriate for kids.

“It’s written clearly for children within the age range of the children’s services department. It’s very highly regarded by teachers and librarians,” said Sheldon Kaye, Director of the Lee County Library System.

The book is about as honest as it gets – featuring drawings of couples engaged in sexual intercourse. It also contains explanations as to why sex feels good, illustrations of masturbation.

“Those illustrations belong in the adult section,” said parent Steven McGuire.

But at least one mom wishes she’d had the book when her kids were young.

“Kids are going to ask questions. You got to give them answers,” said Deborah Hawkins.

Kaye says it’s too difficult for them to distinguish what’s appropriate for youth or teens. She says that’s the parents’ job.

And when the new edition of the book comes out next year, the libraries plan to shelve it too.

“It’s knowledgeable and it’s open minded,” Kaye said.

We have a question set up on the NBC2 Facebook page about the book. Let us know what you think. Some of your answers will be read during the 11 p.m. newscast.

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