I first read about HarperCollins and their "sanitizing" of Clement Hurd's smoking habit at Read Roger. Now the NYTimes has an article on the controversy.
HarperCollins, has digitally altered the photograph of Clement Hurd, the illustrator, to remove a cigarette from his hand.
HarperCollins said it made the change to avoid the appearance of encouraging smoking and did so with the permission of the illustrator's estate. But Mr. Hurd's son, also a children's book illustrator and author, said he felt pressured to allow it. And the move has touched off something of a tempest in the nursery, with some children's booksellers expressing outrage. One has even mounted a campaign to have the original picture restored.
You can see the picture here.
According to Roger Sutton's latest post, this is not the first time they have altered the book's illustrations.
I am finding it more and more difficult to find the original hard cover of the book. It seems like the nasty board book version has taken over. I have not verified this recently but at one point some of the original drawings had not even been included in the board book which totally ruined the book's pacing.