*Six Dr. Seuss books are being cancelled because of longstanding complaints that they include racist and insensitive imagery.
The following books will no longer be published: “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” “If I Ran the Zoo,” “McElligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!,” “Scrambled Eggs Super!,” and “The Cat’s Quizzer.”
“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises told The Associated Press in a statement that coincided with the late author and illustrator’s birthday. “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,” it said.
The decision to cease publication and sales of the books was made last year after months of discussion, the company told AP.
“Dr. Seuss Enterprises listened and took feedback from our audiences including teachers, academics and specialists in the field as part of our review process. We then worked with a panel of experts, including educators, to review our catalog of titles,” it said.
Dr. Seuss — born Theodor Seuss Geisel in Springfield, Massachusetts, on March 2, 1904 —- died in 1991, but remains popular, earning an estimated $33 million before taxes in 2020, up from just $9.5 million five years ago, the company said.
There has been increasing criticism in recent years over the way Blacks, Asians and others are drawn in some of his most beloved children’s books, as well as in his earlier advertising and propaganda illustrations. Watch below:
The National Education Association, which founded Read Across America Day in 1998 and deliberately aligned it with Dr. Seuss’s birthday, has for several years deemphasized the author and encouraged a more diverse reading list for children. In 2017, a school librarian in Cambridge, Massachusetts, criticized a gift of 10 Seuss books from former first lady Melania Trump, saying many of his works were “steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes.” President Biden appears to have removed mentions of Dr. Seuss from “Read Across America Day” amid scrutiny about the “racial undertones” in the tales.
“The Cat in the Hat,” one of Seuss’ most popular books, has received criticism, too, but will continue to be published for now. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, however, said it is “committed to listening and learning and will continue to review our entire portfolio.”