Chinese government punishes 27 people for "tragically ugly" illustrations in kids' math books

China's Ministry of Education has deemed illustrations in children's math textbooks to be "not beautiful" and "quite ugly" and failed to "properly reflect the sunny image of China's children." Twenty-seven people involved with the books' publication have been punished, reports The Guardian.

The mathematics books were published by the People's Education Press almost 10 years ago, and were reportedly used in elementary schools across the country. But they went viral in May after a teacher published photos of the illustrations inside, including people with distorted faces and bulging pants, boys pictures grabbing girls' skirts and at least one child with an apparent leg tattoo.

Social media users were largely amused by the illustrations, but many also criticised them as bringing disrepute and "cultural annihilation" to China, speculating they were the deliberate work of western infiltrators in the education sector.

Take a look at the images here. They are indeed ugly in more than one way. I'm surprised they were approved!