As if library bans and political snubs weren’t bad enough, fans of Dr. Seuss children’s books now have to pay outrageous prices if they want to purchase any of the 6 books discontinued by the owners of the copyrights, Seuss’s heirs.
Six children’s books written decades ago by Dr. Seuss, the pen name of the American writer and illustrator Theodor Geisel, were pulled from publication because they contain “racist” and “insensitive” imagery, the company formed to preserve the deceased author’s legacy said on Tuesday.
“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” are the titles of the banned books.
“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises said in a statement explaining why it was stopping their publication.
The books, originally published between 1937 and 1976, contain numerous depictions of other cultures, including the use of chopsticks, the noting of various skin colors, and eye shapes. People who want to see an end to the books consider them racist stereotypes.
eBay sellers were listing copies for sale as high as $24,000.
Many schools and libraries celebrated Read Across America Day, also Dr. Seuss’ birthday without mentioning the controversies.
Happy Read Across America Day, and Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss! #DrSeussDay pic.twitter.com/RQT79dYLTn
— Fountaindale Public Library (@FountaindaleLib) March 2, 2021
Other’s used the opportunity to call Ted Cruz a racist.
Wrong, this is a lie. Dr. Seuss Enterprises decided to discontinue publication of six titles because of their racist images. If that bothers you, you must be a racist!
— Chris (@mediamaven2011) March 3, 2021
In 2017, then-first lady Melania Trump offered a donation of 10 Dr. Seuss books to a Cambridge, Massachusetts, school. Its librarian turned down the gift, saying images criticized as “racist propaganda and harmful stereotypes” filled their pages.
“Open one of his books (“If I Ran a Zoo” or “And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street,” for example), and you’ll see the racist mockery in his art,” librarian Liz Phipps Soerio told Melania Trump in a letter.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises said it worked with a panel of experts, including educators, to review its catalog and made the decision last year to end publication and licensing. Among the publishers are Random House and Vanguard Press.
The company said the move was just a first step.
“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 company said.