Retailer withdraws ‘horror’ colouring book for children

Tesco has apologised and pulled a horror-themed colouring book featuring blood-soaked movie characters that was marketed at children as young as five.

The 16-page colouring book, Colour Me Good — Arrggghhhh!!

, features scenes from Psycho, Misery, Hellraiser, The Shining, Fatal Attraction, and The Silence of the Lambs — all films with 18+ viewer ratings.

A Tesco spokesman said the product was placed on the company’s website by the book’s publisher.

He said: “We have very clear guidelines for third-party sellers who list items on our website, and are sorry that on this occasion they weren’t followed.

“We will be speaking with the seller to remind them of the importance of selecting the right category when listing products with us.

“Of course when issues do arise we act quickly with the seller to ensure that the item is updated with the correct information.”

The publisher, I Love Mel, claimed the book is aimed at adults — despite the blurb saying it is aimed at “beginners” and “good colourer-inners”.

Mel Elliott, who runs I Love Mel, said: “The front cover of Colour Me Good Arrggghhhh!! features a drawing from the horror movie Psycho in which a woman is stabbed to death in the shower.

“I believe that this one image is a fairly large clue that this is not a book aimed at children.

“However, it does state on Tesco’s website that my products are aimed at 5- to 8-year-olds, which is an error on their part.”

Siobhan Freegard, founder of netmums.com, said Tesco and other retailers had to “take responsibility and help parents and schools in the difficult job of protecting our children and allowing them to retain some innocence in childhood”.

She said: ‘Protecting our children from violent and sexual imagery is almost impossible in this digital world and those who believe it is just ‘down to the parents’ only have to look at this example to see that...

“This book is a gruesome find and yet it is easy to imagine it arriving by post as a gift from a caring grandparent who knows his or her grandson likes ‘baddies’ without having seen the content, as it is positioned as suitable for children.”


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