There is just one month until Christmas! With this in mind, this post focuses on a recent controversy regarding a newly published edited version of a Christmas classic: Twas the Night Before Christmas (also known as A Visit from St. Nicholas). In this “updated” version, Pamela McColl, an anti-smoking advocate, edited out all references to smoking included in the Clement C. Moore original. The National Post has published an article on the debate surrounding these changes. While McColl views the edited version as way to protect children, others have criticized the move as censorship. Ann Curry, Gail de Vos, and Alvin Schrader, all from the University of Alberta, have spoken out to oppose the changes and are quoted in the article. Although the version is controversial, the book is available through Indigo and Amazon.ca.
Gail de Vos has reviewed the book
for the magazine CM: Canadian Review of Materials. In this review, she describes exactly how the
book has been edited. According to the jacket cover, Santa Claus himself edited
out the two lines which reference smoking. In de Vos’ opinion, the changes are detrimental
to the development of children’s critical thinking skills. For more information
on the book, see the book review.