The author and poet Allan Ahlberg has sparked controversy after the publishing the next book in the Happy Families series. Ahlberg, normally known for writing easy-to-understand stories such as Master Bun the Bakers' Boy and Miss Jump the Jockey has gone for a more risqué approach with his new story “Mr. Coke the Drug Baron”, about a 42 year old drug trafficker and mass murderer in Kingston, Jamaica.
Ahlberg was quoted as saying he wanted to move his stories on with the times and that
stories for early readers “should reflect the issues of modern life.” Questions were raised about page 5, in which Mr. Coke was depicted shooting 73 people dead and featuring a cartoon illustration of violence in Kingston.
He defended the story, saying “at least it has a happy ending”, referring to Mr. Coke surrendering to the police and put on trial. However the British government call it barbaric and are considering banning the book, calling it the most controversial book since The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie.