‘Leave Dr Seuss alone’: Outrage as six ‘hurtful, wrong’ Dr Seuss books axed

Mar 03, 2021
Six popular Dr Seuss books will be pulled from shelves for good. (None of the popular titles pictured above are included.) Source: Getty.

His books have been passed down from generation to generation, but it seems famous American author Dr Seuss’ writing may no longer have a place in modern society, as he has been at the receiving end of criticism in recent months.

It’s now been revealed that six popular Dr Seuss books will be pulled from shelves permanently, due to their racially insensitive imagery, the company that preserves and protects the author’s legacy said in a statement on Tuesday.

The six books in question 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!; and The Cat’s Quizzer.

“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” Dr Seuss Enterprises said. “Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr Seuss Enterprises’ catalogue represents and supports all communities and families.”

And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, which was Theodor Seuss Geisel’s first children’s book published under the pen name Dr Seuss in 1937, depicts an illustration of a Chinese man who has two lines for eyes and is holding chopsticks and a bowl. While If I Ran The Zoo, which was published in 1950, has an illustration of two African men wearing grass skirts.

The decision to cease publication and sales of the books was made last year after months of discussion, the company told the Associated Press, 9News reports.

“Dr Seuss Enterprises listened and took feedback from our audiences, including teachers, academics and specialists in the field as part of our review process,” the company said. “We then worked with a panel of experts, including educators, to review our catalogue of titles.”

The move, however, hasn’t been received well by some Dr Seuss fans. Twitter user @TomiLahren wrote, “If you think Dr Seuss is questionable, wait till you hear 99% of the rap songs released in the last 15 years.” And @Nicolee_A_ added, “Y’all better leave Dr Seuss alone.”

However, others have supported the company’s decision, with @jackalopefun commenting, “I was very upset about the early Dr Seuss books no longer being published until I found out which ones. Completely insane these went to print and I’m glad they’re being taken off the shelf.”

And @viet_t_nguyen added, “I didn’t read Dr Seuss as a kid (I was a refugee making my own way through the library), and I like him fine now, but Mulberry Street does, in fact, have a racist Chinese caricature. It was a shock to turn the page with my son and see it, and try to explain to him what this was.”

It comes after an article published by The Telegraph revealed some families have chosen not to read favourite books such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella and Rapunzel to their children because they are “too scary”. A surprising number of parents feared these stories would lead to nightmares for their children, with 20 per cent of adults saying they refused to read Hansel and Gretel because the children were left alone in a forest, and 50 per cent revealing they wouldn’t even read a single fairytale to their child until they were five years old.

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