The sales of six Dr. Seuss books will cease over racist and insensitive imagery, according to the business that preserves and protects the author’s legacy.
The news comes today on National Read Across America Day, when schools across the U.S. celebrate reading on Dr. Seuss’s March 2 birthday to commemorate the popular children’s author, who died in 1991.
“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises said.
Copies of “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” will no longer be published.
Books by Dr. Seuss, born Theodor Seuss Geisel in Springfield, Massachusetts, on March 2, 1904, are sold in more than 100 countries.
The “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” author remains popular, earning an estimated $33 million before taxes in 2020, up from just $9.5 million five years ago, the company said.
As adored as Dr. Seuss is by millions around the world for the positive values in many of his works, including environmentalism and tolerance, there has been increasing criticism in recent years over the way African American, Asian and other characters are drawn in some of his most beloved children’s books, as well as in his earlier advertising and propaganda illustrations.
The National Education Association, which founded Read Across America Day in 1998 and deliberately aligned it with Geisel’s birthday, has for several years deemphasized Seuss and encouraged a more diverse reading list for children.