Ladybird appoints sensitivity readers to revisit classic stories

Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty

Ladybird enlisted the help of sensibility readers to take a look at classics like Cinderella and The Sleeping Beauty, above (Images: Ladybird)

Kids could soon be reading a very different fairy tale than their parents, after Ladybird made sensitive readers re-examine classics like Cinderella and The Sleeping Beauty.

Days after Penguin turned around to rewrite portions of Roald Dahl’s books, its sister publisher reportedly identified “outdated or harmful” characters and plots.

Industry insiders say problems include too many blonde, blue-eyed protagonists, fears of class discrimination, a lack of racially diverse main characters and ageism, as villains are often old and ugly, The Sunday Telegraph claimed.

“Love at first sight” could be abolished so that children learn that looks alone do not make someone romantic. Even damsels in need could go.

Author and sensitivity expert Virginia Mendez – not affiliated with the review – emphasized, “The normalization of other relationships in books doesn’t detract from the story.”

“Woke” edits of Dahl’s children’s classics included calling greedy Charlie and the chocolate factory character Augustus Gloop “huge” instead of “fat.”

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Justin Scacco

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