Mind you, it's been wonderful for sales; the book went from the 600s on Amazon to the top 40. Just for evidence, here is the (first) offending passage, about a man
who had drunk half a gallon of rum listening to Johnny Cash all morning in his parked '62 Cadillac, then fallen out of the car when he saw a rattlesnake on the passenger seat biting his dog, Roy, on the scrotum.Apparently this incident is mentioned several times in the book, necessarily repeating the word.
Here are the things that bother me about this:
Numero uno: I think that incident is funny. It's my crude nature, or my upbringing as the daughter of a Missouri farm boy, or something. Also, I want the next sentence; I may have to borrow the book from the library so I can find out what happened to the dog.
Numero two-oh, as Molly Ivins used to say: "scrotum" is not one of those "you can't say that word in polite company" words that George Carlin used to have so much fun with. It's a scientific term, dammit; it's in Gray's Anatomy (the book, not the TV show); it's in the encyclopedia. True, it's a body part that isn't normally discussed except by men with prostate problems; which is why, if you want to refer to it, you don't have one of those handy, "we all know what it means" synonyms to use. You have to say, "scrotum."
Finally, the whole business is completely out of character for librarians; and I was a librarian for 17 years. Most of the librarians I know would rather have a kid read a book that contained the word "scrotum" than not read at all. In fact, most librarians know that the kids already know all those "bad" words, and reading a book containing them will not corrupt them any further. It's much more important to get them to read at all.
Having read the article on Yahoo News, I'm relieved to find that it was mainly this one woman in Colorado, and a few like-minded souls; and most of the library community is perfectly fine with the book, which is what I would expect. We would all be better off if we worried about genuine problems, like global warming and whether Dubya really is crazy enough to bomb Iran, and quit expending energy on the reference in a children's book to a male body part; and not even "that" male body part.