Earlier this month, Canadian author Adam Pottle asked readers not to buy his new children’s book, The Most Awesome Character in the World, because he objected to an illustration of an Asian girl that he found stereotypical and offensive.
Now the publisher of the book has paused the book’s sales, but she’s not happy about it, reports The Globe and Mail.
Sera Reycraft, the publisher of Reycraft Books, told the newspaper that “to characterize the image, which is a fun celebratory depiction of a Japanese girl in a festive yukata, as racist is flawed and problematic in my opinion.”
Reycraft, who was born in Korea and immigrated to the U.S. as a child, said the publisher might add a note to the book explaining the illustration, which was created by artist Ana Sanfelippo. Reycraft said that the illustration was “thoughtfully crafted by a very talented illustrator with careful oversight by our Asian-American editor.”
Pottle said that he doesn’t trust the publisher, however.
“I am being left out of the process,” he said. “Ms. Reycraft claims they will do whatever they can to fix it, but it’s difficult for me to believe her…By refusing to communicate with me, they’re suggesting that my voice doesn’t matter. Authors appear to be diamond mines to them: they extract what they need, then move on.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, a page for the book on the Reycraft Books website had been removed. The book was still listed as available on Amazon, however.
Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.