SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The organization that preserves the legacy of the late children’s author and Springfield native Dr. Seuss, has announced they will cease the publication and licensing of six of his books due to portrayals they call “hurtful and wrong.”
The titles that will cease publication include Seuss’ first published children’s book, the Springfield-inspired “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.” The complete list of books that will cease publication are:
- And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street
- If I Ran the Zoo
- McElligot’s Pool
- On Beyond Zebra!
- Scrambled Eggs Super!
- The Cat’s Quizzer
In a statement posted Tuesday morning on their official Facebook page, Dr. Seuss Enterprises wrote that they had made the decision last year.
“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong. Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ catalog represents and supports all communities and families.”
The announcement comes on what would have been Dr. Seuss’ 117th birthday, a date that is celebrated as “Read Across America Day.” It also comes as a school district in Virginia announced they would be de-emphasizing the Seuss connection to Read Across America Day, due to the prevalence of racial caricatures in some of the author’s works.
Robert Kinney of American Library Association added to the matter with a comment: “I think this is an opportunity to remove some of the materials. Yes, I do. And, at the same time, I believe that it’s also a talking point to look at some of the materials and to see, you know, where we have come from as a people. I believe this is a moment, one of those monumental moments in our time that we have, that we can make a change. Make changes for the better.”
Kinney said he thinks that there will be a gradual process that comes with education and awareness.