Dr. Seuss publications “canceled”


Liliana Garcia

Junior Alyssa Delong reminisces about reading Dr. Seuss in elementary school while reading “The Lorax”.

Six of the children’s books written by the famous author Theodor Geisel, commonly referred to as Dr. Seuss, will be discontinued and taken off book store shelves due to concerns about racial imagery.
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 book The Cat’s Quizzer will all be discontinued.
“The stopping of publishing these books is so controversial,” junior Marissa Loveberry said. “People are disappointed because they grew up reading these books, but at the same time, they believe the books promote racism and shouldn’t be read by children.”
A 2019 research study on Diversity in Youth Literature found that 43 characters created by Dr. Seuss have characteristics that associate with racial discrimination.
“Characters aligned with Orientalism have sometimes attributed an ethnic-racial identity,” Katie Ishizuka stated in the study, “but are generally situated within a colorblind lens, often from an unspecified nationality, race, or ethnicity.”
Some of the animals and non-human characters in the picture books believe to reveal racist messages through symbolism and allegories.
In the book And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, an Asian stereotype is seen with a Chinese man eating.
“A Chinese man is drawn with chopsticks and a bowl of rice in his hands,” Ishizuka wrote. “Bright yellow skin, slanted eyes, a long black braid, and a conical hat.”
There are two African men in the book If I Ran the Zoo that are shirtless, without shoes, wearing grass skirts, and holding an animal.
“I’ve grown up reading these books,” junior Sydney Breton said. “It is sad that these things go unnoticed for such a long time.”
Many people believe that Dr. Seuss’s poetry should be preserved for historical purposes.
“His work can show readers how children’s books have changed as society evolves,” said Breton.
As Americans realize what is wrong and right, our customs and the way we live will continue to change and these books being discontinued will help racism decrease among young children.