"Goodnight Moon" -- now safer than ever

Stop the presses! Jeers prompt HarperCollins to change its mind -- sort of -- about airbrushing the cigarette out of the children's classic.

Published December 6, 2005 11:05PM (EST)

As Broadsheet noted in an earlier post, HarperCollins recently decided to alter a photograph of Clement Hurd, illustrator of the children's classic "Goodnight Moon," to excise a cigarette that was dangling from his hand. We have now learned from a Broadsheet reader that the publisher has decided to get rid of the doctored photo altogether, and replace it with a fresh image.

This statement was sent to our tipster by Maria Modugno, V.P. and editorial director of HarperCollins children's books: "We understand that [the altered photo] has caused some concern, and we have replaced this photo with a new, unaltered picture of Mr. Hurd that does not include a cigarette. This picture is now included on our most recent reprint of 'Goodnight Moon.' We have been working closely with Thacher Hurd and the Estate of ['Goodnight Moon' author] Margaret Wise Brown throughout this process to ensure it is handled with care and respect. Thank you for your support of Goodnight Moon. This book truly is a national treasure." (Modugno did not respond to an e-mail from Broadsheet requesting confirmation.)

We can only imagine that after a week of getting slammed for their decision to digitally alter the picture, the folks at HarperCollins were anxious to say "Goodnight noises everywhere."

By Lori Leibovich

Lori Leibovich is a contributing editor at Salon and the former editor of the Life section.

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