Home / World News / Dogging and side-boobs – are children’s books really bulging with filth? | Stephanie Merritt

Dogging and side-boobs – are children’s books really bulging with filth? | Stephanie Merritt

The authors of Biff, Chip and Kipper are accused of slipping something rude in. Pugwash and Pooh have withstood similar blows. Let’s get to the bottom of this

“Christopher Robin went up the stairs, trailing Pooh behind him.” My son considered this the all-time funniest line in literature when he was small – it’s fortunate he never discovered the 90s spin-off Cooking With Pooh (still available from Amazon, complete with set of shaped cookie-cutters, for those who are into that sort of thing). The original Pooh was apparently named after a swan, though it’s hard to imagine AA Milne didn’t know what he was doing. Generations of kids have squealed with delight at the scatological bear’s antics (particularly the one in which Pooh gets stuck in a tight hole), before they graduate to the unintended hilarity of all the Dicks, Fannys and Tittys in other well-loved 20th-century classics.

Innocent times. These days, our children’s primary school books are apparently rife with subliminal images of cottaging, predatory priests and references to STDs. At least, according to Twitter, where this week someone claimed to have found a background picture in the popular Biff, Chip and Kipper series that showed a group of moustachioed men entering a clump of bushes, only to be discovered in the next scene by a granny so shocked at what she saw that her glasses fell off.

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