Mr McGee and censorship… stripped bare

I’ve encountered some funny “nude moment” incidents in primary school libraries.

During the furore of Pamela Allen’s Mr McGee (he of the “biting flea” picture book fame) getting shortlisted by the CBCA for getting his pants off a few years ago, someone on this list announced that she’d made him a lovely pair of yellow tissue-paper underpants. We never did find out if she was
joking. I wonder if the wretched nude castaway of Armin Greder’s “The Island” also sports fashions from the House of McGee at that school? 😉

At my previous school, there was an extremely popular donated yearbook of Australian photojournalism in the library, and it was always being found hidden under a chair, or with the “Where’s Wally” and “Goosebumps” books behind the heaters. Eventually I realised it must have had something controversial inside, so I held the spine in my hand and let the book fall open at its most-used pages – and my trick revealed a rather lovely distance shot of Bondi Beach’s topless bathing end. Cleverly framing the shot was a closeup of a blurred naked female breast..

Eventually, someone destroyed the photo with a Texta and I tried removing the page in an attempt to give the rest of the book a bit more life. Several months later, I realised that the so-called “offending photo” was actually also shown, in a much smaller size, on the book’s cover – and nobody had ever noticed, even though the breast wasn’t as blurry in that smaller size.

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