boston: six dr. Seuss’s books, including “And To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo,” will cease publication due to racist and insensitive imagery, the business that preserves and protects the author’s legacy said Tuesday.
“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” says dr. seuss enterprises to the associated press in a statement to coincide with the late author and illustrator’s birthday.
You are reading: Dr seuss books no longer publisher
“ceasing the sale of these books is just one part of our commitment and broader plan to ensure that dr. The Seuss Enterprises catalog represents and supports all communities and families,” he said.
The other books affected are “mcelligot’s pool”, “on beyond zebra!”, “scrambled eggs super!” and “the cat’s quizzer”.
The decision to stop publishing and selling the books was made last year after months of discussion, the company, which was founded by the Seuss family, told the AP.
“dr. seuss enterprises listened to and received feedback from our audience, including teachers, scholars, and specialists in the field, as part of our review process. then we work with a panel of experts, including educators, to review our catalog of titles,” he said.
in “and to think i saw it on mulberry street”, an asian person is depicted wearing a conical hat, holding chopsticks and eating from a bowl. “if i run the zoo” includes a drawing of two barefoot African men wearing what appear to be grass skirts with their hair tied above their heads.
books of dr. Seuss, who was born Theodor Seuss Geisel in Springfield, Massachusetts, on March 2, 1904, have been translated into dozens of languages, as well as Braille, and are sold in more than 100 countries. he died in 1991.
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remains popular, with estimated pre-tax earnings of $33 million in 2020, up from $9.5 million five years ago, the company said. forbes listed it no. 2 among the highest-paid deceased celebrities of 2020, behind only the late pop star michael jackson.
random houses children’s books, dr. seuss publisher, issued a brief statement on tuesday: “we respect the decision of dr. seuss enterprises (dse) and the work of, and the recommendation of, the panel that reviewed this content last year.”
as adored as dr. Seuss is recognized by millions of people around the world for the positive values in many of his works, including environmentalism and tolerance. In recent years, there has been increasing criticism of the way blacks, Asians, and others are drawn in some of his best-loved children’s books, as well as in his earlier advertising and propaganda illustrations. p>
the national education association, which founded the nation-wide reading day in 1998 and deliberately aligned it with geisel’s birthday, has for several years downplayed seuss and encouraged a more diverse reading list for children.
School districts across the country have also turned away from dr. Seuss, prompting schools in Loudoun County, Virginia, outside of Washington, D.C., to shut down rumors last month that they were banning the books altogether.
“research in recent years has revealed strong racial undertones in many books written/illustrated by dr. Seuss,” the school district said in a statement.
in 2017, a school librarian in cambridge, massachusetts criticized a gift of 10 seuss books from first lady melania trump, saying many of her works were “soaked in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes.”
in 2018, a dr. seuss museum in his hometown of springfield removed a mural that featured an asian stereotype.
“The Cat in the Hat”, one of Seuss’s most popular books, has also received criticism, but will continue to be published for now.
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dr. seuss enterprises, however, said it is “committed to listening and learning and will continue to review our entire portfolio.”
The decision to cease publication of the books provoked an immediate reaction on social media from those who called it another example of “canceling culture.”
“now we have foundation books burning the authors they are dedicated to. well done everyone,” conservative commentator and author ben shapiro tweeted.
others approved the decision.
“The books we share with our children matter. Books shape their worldview and tell them how to relate to the people, places, and ideas around them. As adults, we need to examine the worldview we are creating for our children, which includes carefully re-examining our favorites,” tweeted rebekah fitzsimmons, assistant professor at carnegie mellon university.
Many other popular children’s series have come under fire in recent years for alleged racism.
In the 2007 book, “Should We Burn Babar?”, author and educator Herbert R. Kohl argued that the “babar the elephant” books were celebrations of colonialism because of how the title character leaves the jungle and then returns to “civilize” his animal companions.
one of the books, “babar’s travels”, was removed from the shelves of a british library in 2012 due to its alleged african stereotypes. Critics have also criticized the Curious George books for their premise of a white man bringing home a monkey from Africa.
Laura Ingals Wilder’s depictions of Native Americans in her “Little House on the Prairie” novels have been criticized so often that the American Library Association removed her name in 2018 from a lifetime achievement award it awards each year . The Association still awards the Geisel Award for “Most Distinguished American Book for Beginning Readers published in English in the United States during the preceding year.”
national writer ap hillel italie contributed from new york.
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