After months of debate, Dr. Seuss Enterprises will stop publishing six of its beloved books due to insensitive and racist imagery.
The company announced on Tuesday. The news came on the late author’s birthday, known as “Read Across America Day.” The books that will be pulled are “The Cat’s Quizzer,” “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” “If I Ran the Zoo,” “McElligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!,” and “Scrambled Eggs Super!.”
In a statement to the Associated Press, the company explained, “these books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.” They went on to add, “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.”
Dr. Seuss Enterprises decided to cease publishing and licensing the texts last year after reviewing claims about its books. The company says that it listened to readers, teachers, and other specialists’ feedback as part of its review process. They also consulted with experts to review the titles within their lineup of children’s publications.
In recent years, Dr. Seuss’s books have come under fire for problematic imagery. Several school districts across the U.S. no longer promote Dr. Seuss’s books on “Read Across America Day.” This includes Loudon County, Virginia district. They said that “research in recent years has revealed strong racial undertones in many books written/illustrated by Dr. Seuss.”
President Joe Biden refrained from mentioning Dr. Seuss during his “Read Across America Day” proclamation, steering away from the late author who many presidents have mentioned on the day promoting literature.