Six Dr. Suess Books Will No Longer Be Printed
Sunya Chay, Staff Writer
Theodor Suess Geisel, better known as Dr. Suess, is one of the most well-known children’s authors of all time. There are many books published under the name “Dr. Suess” that children have been reading them for decades. However, six books have come under fire for racist imagery. The six books, 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, were all called out for their imagery. These books will no longer be published, and some schools are pulling these books off of their shelves.
Dr. Seuss is celebrated all over the United States. Read Across America, an organization that promotes children’s literacy, promotes Read Across America Day on March 2nd every year on Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Dr. Seuss Enterprises and Read Across America work together to promote reading. However, in 2018, Read Across America stopped partnering with Dr. Seuss Enterprises.
According to Vox, “when the NEA’s contract with Dr. Seuss Enterprises ran out in 2018, it chose not to renew the terms, leading to a lot less Dr. Seuss merch getting distributed to different schools. And this year, the NEA has pivoted away from Dr. Seuss entirely.”
Since these six books are no longer being published, sales for Dr. Seuss have skyrocketed. Many people want to get these books before they are no longer on the market. However, many online stores are already taking it off of the shelves, making it harder for people to buy them.
The book If I Ran the Zoo depicts many racist images of people of color. According to Vox, the images include a point when “the narrator declares his intention to put a ‘chieftain’ (illustrated as a man in a turban) on display in the zoo; a pair of African characters are portrayed as monkeys; and a group of Asian characters, described as ‘helpers who all wear their eyes at a slant’ from ‘countries no one can spell’ carry a caged animal on their heads.” Many of Dr. Seuss’ books also depict racist images to go along with the narration.
One of the other books that depicts racist images is And to Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street. According to AP News, the book has, “an Asian person… portrayed wearing a conical hat, holding chopsticks, and eating from a bowl.” These images are not only racist but are also hurtful to the communities that are affected by it.
All of Dr. Seuss’ books published under Dr. Seuss Enterprises will no longer be published. The decision for these six books to stop publishing was last year when more attention to the racist imagery arose. According to AP News, “‘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.” These books will no longer be published. However, the rest of Dr. Seuss’ books, such as The Cat in The Hat will be.