A joke book sold as ideal for eight-year-old children has been withdrawn by Amazon because it contained X-rated material.
The book was being sold on Amazon and looked like the perfect stocking filler for youngsters. Its blurb stated: “This fun, clean joke book is a fun gift for birthdays or holidays or anytime.”
But among its 231 quips were a series of offensive, misogynistic expletive-laden material.
The online giant removed the book from sale after The Sunday Post’s agony aunt, Maggie Clayton, raised the alarm.
She contacted Amazon after buying the book as a stocking filler for her granddaughter but was left aghast after looking inside.
She said: “I couldn’t believe this material was being sold as suitable for children. The language was terrible and the so-called jokes were foul.”
The 122-page paperback was part of a series aimed at five to nine-year-olds. It’s unclear how many copies were sold to unwitting parents or grandparents.
Its red and yellow cover mimicked that of a successful similar – but unconnected – collection of joke books for kids.
Another online advert for it said: “Funny kids love funny jokes and this brand new collection of super funny jokes, tongue twisters and knock knock Jokes for eight-year-old kids promises hours of fun for the whole family.
“Good, clean fun for everyone. Just wait until you hear the giggles and laughter.”
Amazon said: “This book is no longer available. We have contacted the customer directly and a full refund has been processed.”
To my horror, I found frankly disgusting gags about sex, women and body parts, liberally peppered with obscene language
By Margaret Clayton
Every Christmas my husband and I buy books for our four young grandchildren. Some of them from a Waterstones bookshop and some from Amazon online.
When they arrive I flick through them to see what my grandson and three granddaughters will be enjoying as their bedtime read.
Thankfully I did so this year, because I can’t imagine what my daughter-in-law would have thought if her eight-year-old daughter Elizabeth had read the book from granny and papa.
I had ordered it from Amazon Children’s Books because the title, Awesome Silly Jokes For An Eight-year-old caught my eye and, as Elizabeth loves telling jokes, it seemed perfect for her.
It arrived before Christmas and I started reading it. To my horror I found among the 231 jokes a large number of frankly disgusting smutty gags about sex, women and body parts, liberally peppered with obscene language.
I simply couldn’t believe it. I showed it to my husband and he said: “Contact Amazon immediately”.
I did and was told they would look into it. The next day I received an email from the company offering me a refund on the book. I told them I wanted to know what they were going to do about this product and they said they would remove it.
I shudder to think how many parents or grandparents who may have bought this book as a fun book for their grandchildren will feel when they realise its contents.
Surely a company like Amazon have a responsibility to make sure that every publication they produce is safe for children to read? This episode has shattered my faith in them.
In the Amazon sales pitch, it states: “Awesome Silly Jokes. Hundreds of really funny and knock-knock jokes for five to nine-year-old kids.”
In the apology email sent from Amazon, it read: “We are taking this very seriously and are investigating the matter. I will follow up with you shortly. Thanks for your patience.”
A follow up email informed me: “We have concluded the investigation and taken action to remove the book from sale”.
No matter how big Amazon is, mistakes like this matter. Parents and grandparents want to know when they give a young child a book that it is safe to read – not a nasty piece of filth and innuendo.