How long has it been since you've thought about the story of Little Black Sambo? Do your children or grandchildren know the story? Written and illustrated by Helen Bannerman and published in 1899, it was a favorite story for children for half a century until the word "sambo" was deemed a racial slur in some countries. The original illustrations showed a caricatured Southern Indian, or Tamil child. Perhaps the book's success led to many widely available versions that included popular stereotypes of "black" people and gradually caused the book to be dropped from lists of recommended stories for children, even to the point of being banned from schools, or released in other forms.
Now I guess that's where I get upset: is it fair to take a story from someone and rewrite it? Isn't there a word for that? (In college term papers we were told we were "stealing sentences".) Is it merely another way for publishers to make more money? While we're banning stories, why not ban TV shows, such as Family Guy, American Dad, and South Park, probably meant for adults, but presented in a cartoon format so children are naturally attracted to them; and don't think they don't watch! And, while we're at it, let's ban commercials filled with sexual content.
I see nothing racist about the book, but rather a story of a loving family: mother and father giving the very best they could to their son who was so very proud of the gift. A great lesson on why it's wrong to take something from someone can be learned from the bullying tigers and how their greed was their end, and the boy's patience brought him good in the end.
If you're interested in reading more about the controversy surrounding this story, and some readers' comments, Google has a long list. Meanwhile, here's the "rest of the story":