To promote reading, the Ministry of Education is distributing picture books to first-grade students. However, one of the picture books on the list is called "King and King" and parents' groups say the government is desperately pushing homosexuality on students. This has resulted in a great deal of opposition. The Ministry of Education responded that students can exchange the book got before Sept. 11 if they want.
"King and King" is a picture book about a prince whose parents are forcing him to marry. However, princesses have never interested him. When he meets a prospective wife's older brother, it is love at first sight. In the end, the two princes marry. The book won a best children's book award in Taiwan in 2018 and is one of the books being distributed to first graders by the Ministry of Education. However, parents' groups say the book is not appropriate for first graders and have asked New Taipei City public libraries to remove it from shelves.
Front-line library workers from the New Taipei City Public Library have received many protest phone calls from conservative civic groups this week. If even the city government and our public agencies can't show support for children in the sexual minority, who can?
Taipei Public Library says the book will not be removed but it may decide to stop letting readers check it out. Some parents say the book should be kept on shelves and readers can decide for themselves whether to check it out.
If there are parents out there that want to broaden their children's horizons, or if there are children out there that want to explore for themselves, I think they will at least have the right to make their own choices and know that there are resources out there that they can access.
The ministry says its list of 100 books was reviewed by experts and the books are distributed at random. If a student that received "King and King" wants to exchange it for a different book, he or she can do so before Sept. 11. Civic group Mothers Shield Alliance will hold a press conference on the 9th to express its opposition to the book.