It’s Dr. Seuss birthday, so his publisher decided to cancel six of his books from publication, CNN reports.
What’s going on?
Dr. Seuss Enterprises said Tuesday it will no longer publish six of Seuss’ books because they “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” according to CNN.
- “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 organization said, according to The Associated Press.
- “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, per AP.
The six books include:
- “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”
It’s unclear if the books will be immediately be removed from shelves or when you might stop seeing them in stores. Reports didn’t mention if public libraries will remove the books, either. So far it seems publication and sales will be stopped for now.
Why these books?
Dr. Seuss’ books have been criticized in recent years for having racist undertones, NPR reports.
- For example, “And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street” mentions a character who is “described as Chinese has two lines for eyes, carries chopsticks and a bowl of rice, and wears traditional Japanese-style shoes,” according to NPR.
- And “If I Ran the Zoo” has two male characters who are “said to be from Africa” and “are shown shirtless, shoeless and wearing grass skirts as they carry an exotic animal.”
- “Outside of his books, the author’s personal legacy has come into question, too — Seuss wrote an entire minstrel show in college and performed as the main character in full blackface,” according to NPR.
The discovery of these racist undertones led the National Education Association to rebrand Read Across America in 2017 to embrace diverse authors instead of Seuss, NPR reported.