Dr. Seuss Books Recalled From Publishing Due to Racist Imagery

April 8, 2021

For decades, Dr. Seuss’s work has been a staple in childhood literature by bringing a whimsical touch and a colorful imagination to the world of children’s books.

However, his offensive portrayal of minorities through his illustrations has begun to strike up controversy. 

According to Dr. Seuss enterprises, “If I Ran The Zoo” and “And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street” are just two out of the six books that will stop being published due to insensitive and racist imagery.  

Ceasing sales of these books is only part of their commitment and broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ catalog represents and supports all communities and families.

For kids who grew up reading these books, it’s shocking to see beloved stories placed in a new light, which is the case for Neveah Mattison, Sophomore. 

“Being a minority myself and growing up reading these books, it’s eye-opening to see how his illustrations are being rethought and brought to attention. It’s definitely something that didn’t register for me as a kid reading them,” Mattison said. 

Although these images resurfacing may have shocked many, these are not the first children’s stories to contain underlying racism. 

From Nancy Drew to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, there’s an extensive range of stories that have been modified and updated through the years to remove the racist material that appears in the original story. 

In light of this news, a conversation surrounding the long history of racism in children’s stories is commencing and beginning to transfer the spotlight to children’s books by authors of color.

The National Education Association which represents public schools and teachers all around the country has recently chosen to not renew their contract with Dr. Seuss Enterprises and pivot away from Dr. Seuss entirely.

The NEA is using National Read Across America Day, which formerly celebrates both the birthday of Dr. Seuss and the importance of reading, to deemphasize Seuss and encourage a more diverse reading list for children. 

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