6 Dr. Seuss Books Pulled Due to Racist Imagery
President Biden has removed mentions of the late author during "Read Across America Day," according to a report.
Six books from Dr. Seuss, one of the most prolific children’s book authors of all time, will no longer be published, because the books “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” announced Dr. Seuss Enterprises on Tuesday.
The books pulled from publication are:
- "And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street"
- "If I Ran the Zoo"
- ”McElligot's Pool”
- ”On Beyond Zebra!"
- ”Scrambled Eggs Super!”
- “The Cat's Quizzer"
The Seuss family told the Associated Press that the decision to stop publication and sales of the books was made last year after the family worked with a panel of experts, including educators, to review the catalog of titles.
“Dr. Seuss Enterprises listened and took feedback from our audiences including teachers, academics and specialists in the field as part of our review process,” Dr. Seuss’ Enterprise said.
They added: “Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ catalog represents and supports all communities and families.”
The books of Dr. Seuss, born Theodor Seuss Geisel in Springfield, Massachusetts, have sold more than 650 million copies, according to a 2015 Washington Post story. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages, as well as braille, and are in more than 100 countries. Some of his most notable works include, “The Cat in the Hat,” “Green Eggs and Ham,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” among many others.
The appeal of Seuss’ books remain the playful rhymes, nonsense words, and unusual creatures audiences adored. But Seuss had a history of publishing racist and anti-Semitic work dating back to the 1920s when he was a student at Dartmouth College being published in the school’s humor magazine the Jack-O-Lantern, CNN reported.
A 2019 study published in the journal “Research on Diversity in Youth Literature" found, as the title noted, "Orientalism, AntiBlackness, and White Supremacy" in Dr. Seuss books. The study points out that "In the book, ”The Cat's Quizzer”, the Japanese character is referred to as 'a Japanese,' and is pictured with a bright yellow face, and is standing on what appears to be Mt. Fuji."
The annual event “Read Across America Day,” which was started in 1989 to encourage children to pick up a book, falls on March 2 and coincides with Dr. Seuss’ birthday.
However, in light of the recent controversy surrounding Seuss’ books, President Biden has removed mentions of the late author, The New York Post reported.
In his presidential proclamation, Biden noted that “for many Americans, the path to literacy begins with story time in their school classroom,” and that the day was “an important recommitment to the goal of national reading comprehension,” USA Today reported.
One school district in Virginia said that it was no longer promoting Dr. Seuss books because of apparent “strong racial undertones,” the Post reported.
According to the AP, in 2020, before taxes, the late author earned an estimated $33 million, up from just $9.5 million five years ago, the company said. And, Forbes listed Seuss as No. 2 on its list of highest-paid celebrities of 2020, behind only the late pop star Michael Jackson, cited the news outlet.
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