Dr Seuss company to stop publishing six books over offensive images

Illustrations ‘portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong’, company says

In recent years critics have said some of Dr Seuss’s work was racist and presented harmful depictions of certain groups. File photograph: Erin McCracken/Evansville Courier & Press via AP

In recent years critics have said some of Dr Seuss’s work was racist and presented harmful depictions of certain groups. File photograph: Erin McCracken/Evansville Courier & Press via AP

 

Six Dr Seuss books will no longer be published because of their use of offensive imagery, according to the business that oversees the estate of the children’s author and illustrator.

In a statement on Tuesday, Dr Seuss Enterprises said it had decided last year to end publication and licensing of the books by Theodor Seuss Geisel. The titles include his first book writing under the pen name Dr Seuss, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street (1937), and If I Ran the Zoo (1950).

“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” Dr Seuss Enterprises said on Tuesday, which coincided with the birthday of Geisel, who died in 1991. The business said the decision came after working with a panel of experts, including educators, and reviewing its catalogue of titles.

The other books that will no longer be published are On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, The Cat’s Quizzer and McElligot’s Pool.

Whimsical stories

Geisel’s whimsical stories have entertained millions of children and adults worldwide, but in recent years critics have said some of his work was racist and presented harmful depictions of certain groups.

Before he became a giant of children’s literature, Geisel drew political cartoons for a New York-based newspaper, PM, from 1941 to 1943, including some that used harmful stereotypes to caricature Japanese people and Japanese-American people.

Decades later, he said he was embarrassed by the cartoons, which he said were “full of snap judgments that every political cartoonist has to make”.

Random House Children’s Books did not immediately respond to a request for comment. – New York Times